Time to ditch the diet

It’s no secret diet fads come and go – and, somewhat like we see in fashion, often repeat themselves under a different and new guise.

But further researcher has strengthened the argument that it’s not about what diet is better – any healthy diet may lower your risk of heart disease.

A new prospective cohort study published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests it’s not necessary to conform to a single diet to achieve healthy eating.

Instead, the researchers have found that following a range of healthy eating patterns may lower your risk of heart disease.

The researchers analysed the diets of more than 200,000 participants (165,794 women and 43,339 men) and scored them based on how they complied with four different types of healthy eating:

  • Healthy Eating Index-2015
  • Alternate Mediterranean Diet Score
  • Healthful Plant-Based Diet Index
  • Alternate Healthy Eating Index.

These healthy diets share several similarities, including a higher intake of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes and nuts.

Study participants were followed up for 32 years, with the results showing that adherence to various healthy eating patterns was associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease, and the associations between dietary scores and risk of cardiovascular disease were consistent across different subgroups.

This means, that it’s not so much what particular diet you’re following (whether it’s vegan, plant-based or Mediterranean), it’s about following a healthy diet that works for you and one includes foods from each of the food groups, including whole grains, vegetables, fruit, legumes and nuts.

The study authors conclude: “These findings support the recommendations of the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans that multiple healthy eating patterns can be adapted to individual food traditions and preferences.”

So, before your next great debate with friends, family or work colleagues about what diet is superior for optimal health and wellbeing, remember: based in these results, it’s more about general healthy eating and eating in a way that works for you – the individual.

To read the study, click here.

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