Dairy and Meat are Beneficial for Heart Health and Longevity!

Dairy and Meat are Beneficial for Heart Health and Longevity!

New research suggests that current dietary guidelines should be reviewed to take into account the eating habits of modern populations around the world. The unprocessed red meat and dairy products , for example, should be included as part of a healthy diet for the heart . Many studies suggest that a diet that avoids red meat and dairy but is rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains is the best for heart health. However, new research suggests that we should amend these guidelines. The Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study , led by Prof. Salim Yusuf, director of the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, suggests that the results of these traditional studies may be biased and outdated.

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Specifically, the researchers explain, such studies are based on the eating habits of high-income countries and are based on data from decades ago. For these reasons, the new study aimed to make a more thorough analysis of the dietary patterns of people around the world. Their findings were presented at the 2018 annual conference of the European Society of Cardiology, held in Munich, Germany.

Diet Quality and Cardiovascular Health:

For the PURE study, Professor Yusuf and his colleagues examined the relationship between diet and heart health in almost 140,000 healthy people aged 35 to 70, who were followed up for more than nine years. During this period, 6,821 people died of cardiovascular disease and 5,466 experienced major cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke and heart failure. The quality of the participants’ diets was assessed using a food score. To develop the score, the researchers included foods that according to previous studies could reduce the risk of premature death, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, fish, dairy products and meat. Andrew Mind of the PHRI, the co-principal investigator of the study, summarizes the findings. ” People who consumed a diet that emphasized fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, fish, dairy products and meat had the lowest risks of cardiovascular disease and premature death ,” he says.

“As for meat, we find that unprocessed meat is associated with benefits”. 

Specifically, compared to people who obtained the lowest score in the quality of their diet, those who had the highest quality score were 11 percent less likely to experience a major cardiovascular event, 17 percent less likely to suffer a stroke and 25 percent less likely to die from any cause. In addition, the findings suggest that the intake of refined carbohydrates should be limited, but that unprocessed red meat can be healthy. « Dairy products and meat are beneficial «

The researchers replicated their findings in four additional studies. Overall, the results were confirmed in a total sample of more than 218,000 people from more than 50 countries around the world. “Our results seemed to apply to people from different parts of the world, so the findings are applicable worldwide,”explains Mahshid Dehghan, who is also a co-principal investigator affiliated with PHRI. Professor Yusuf explains that, although these findings may go against traditional beliefs, they are a better reflection of our modern and international eating habits. It is necessary to reconsider what constitutes a high quality diet for a world population. For example, our results show that dairy products and meat are beneficial to the health and longevity of the heart. This differs from current dietary advice”.

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