Research Roundup: How to reduce your risk of heart disease

Are you curious about what to eat – and what not to eat – to decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease? The OmniHeart trial published information in the February 2008 issue of The Journal of the American Dietetic Association on the effectiveness of three different eating patterns to decrease blood pressure and cardiovascular risk factors. Saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, magnesium, calcium and potassium intake were kept even in the three groups, but total carbohydrate, protein, and monounsaturated fat content differed. All three diets lowered blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and decreased overall risk of developing heart disease. Each diet emphasized the use of fresh fruit, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products; included whole grains, nuts, and fish; and reduced intake of red meat, sweets, and sugary beverages.

These global, population-based messages are important, but science is taking the next step in making individualized recommendations, based on your personal genetic profile. Navigenics is one company with a federally certified laboratory that screens personal genetic material from a sample of saliva and provides clinically-based, individual feedback on specific steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. In the near future, your physician will be able to give you precise guidelines on lifestyle habits to prevent chronic disease. For now, keep eating your fruit, vegetables, nuts, fish, and whole grains.



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