The current guidelines about your diet may need to be revised to take into account the dietary habits of modern populations across the globe, suggests new research.The research suggests red meat and dairy, for instance, should be included as part of diet healthy for the heart, according to the study published in the Lancet.
For long, many studies that suggested diets that avoid red meat and dairy but are rich in fruit, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains are the best.
But the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study suggests that the results of these traditional studies may be biased and outdated.
It explains previous studies were based on dietary habit of high-income countries and rely on decades-old data. Now new studies are hoping to give a more comprehensive analysis of dietary patterns around the world.
The findings were presented at the 2018 annual conference of the European Society of Cardiology, in Munich, Germany.
Researchers examined the link between diet and heart health in almost 140,000 healthy people, aged 35–70, who were clinically followed for over 9 years.
In the period, 6,821 people died of a cardiovascular disease and 5,466 experienced major cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke, and heart failure.
The quality of participants diets was scored, using tools that in previous studies included foods—fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, fish, dairy and meat—that previous studies suggested might lower the risk of premature death.
“People who consumed a diet emphasizing fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, fish, dairy products, and meat had the lowest risks of cardiovascular disease and early death,” says PHRI’s Andrew Mente, the study’s co-principal investigator.
“Regarding meat, we found that unprocessed meat is associated with benefit.”
Specifically, compared with people who scored the lowest on the quality of their diet, those with the highest quality score were 11 percent less likely to experience a major cardiovascular event, 17 percent less likely to have a stroke, and 25 percent less likely to die of any cause.
Additionally, the findings suggest that the intake of refined carbohydrates should be limited, but that dairy and unprocessed red meat may be healthful.
The researchers replicated their findings in four further studies. Overall, the results were confirmed in a total sample of more than 218,000 people from over 50 countries spread across the globe.
“Our results appeared to apply to people from different parts of the world and so the findings are globally applicable,” explains Mahshid Dehghan, who is also a co-principal investigator affiliated with PHRI.