HAMILTON, CANADA (July 6, 2023) — A study conducted at the Population Research Health Institute (PHRI) by McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences researchers discovered that not eating enough of six important foods in combination is related with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in people.
Previous and comparable studies concentrated on Western countries and diets that blended hazardous, ultra-processed meals with nutrient-dense foods. This study had a global reach and focused on foods that are usually thought to be healthful.
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 18 million people died from CVD in 2019, accounting for 32% of all global deaths. Heart attacks and strokes were responsible for 85% of these deaths. PHRI researchers and their global collaborators analyzed data from numerous studies involving 245,000 people from 80 countries. On July 6, the findings were published in the European Heart Journal.
The diet score was established from the PHRI’s ongoing, large-scale worldwide Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiological (PURE) investigation, which was subsequently duplicated in five separate studies to measure health outcomes in diverse world areas and in adults with and without prior CVD.
“Previous diet scores, such as the EAT-Lancet Planetary Diet and the Mediterranean Diet, focused primarily on the relationship of diet to CVD and death in Western countries.” “The PURE Healthy Diet Score had a good representation of high, middle, and low-income countries,” said Salim Yusuf, PURE’s senior author and primary investigator.
In addition to being fully worldwide, the PURE Healthy Diet Score focused solely on protective, or natural, foods.
“We were unique in that regard.” “The other diet scores combined foods thought to be harmful to one’s health – such as processed and ultra-processed foods – with foods and nutrients thought to be protective of one’s health,” said first author Andrew Mente, PHRI scientist and assistant professor at McMaster’s Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact.
“There has recently been a greater emphasis on increasing consumption of protective foods for disease prevention.” “Aside from eating more fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes, the researchers demonstrated that moderation is essential in the consumption of natural foods,” he stated.
“Eating moderate amounts of fish and whole-fat dairy is linked to a lower risk of CVD and mortality.” The same health benefits can be obtained by consuming grains and meats in moderation, as long as they are unrefined whole grains and unprocessed meats.”
The PURE Healthy Diet Score suggests two to three servings of fruits per day, two to three servings of vegetables per day, one serving of nuts per day, and two servings of dairy per day. In addition, three to four weekly portions of beans and two to three weekly servings of fish are included in the score. Whole grains (one serving daily) and unprocessed red meat or poultry (one serving daily) are possible replacements.
There was no special financing for this analysis, however each study that submitted data was funded separately and ran for a period of 25 years.