West Virginia has the highest rate of heart disease in the nation. But a new study has found eating healthy foods -- regardless of specific diet -- can help reduce the risk for heart disease.
The study, published online in the International Journal of Cardiology, looked at three popular diets that emphasize different macronutrients. One focused on eating healthy carbohydrates, the other high protein intake, the third focused on unsaturated fats. All diets also called for eating four to six servings of fruits and vegetables a day and restricted sugary beverages and sweets.
The team found that all three diets reduced heart cell damage and inflammation within the six-week trial period.
The researchers said the findings suggest that type of diet is less important than eating a healthy, balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and high in fiber with few sugary beverages, and sweets.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from Marshall Health and Charleston Area Medical Center.