Diet - heart health
Lifelong changes in eating habits, physical activity, and attitudes about food and weight are essential to weight management. Unfortunately, although many people can lose weight initially, it is very difficult to maintain weight loss. People with type 2 diabetes may have a particularly difficult time. Here are some general suggestions that may be helpful:
Even repeated weight loss failure is no reason to give up. [For more information, see In-Depth Report #53: Weight control and diet.]
Inactivity is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease, on par with smoking, unhealthy cholesterol, and high blood pressure. In fact, studies suggest that people who change their diet in order to control cholesterol lower their risk for heart disease only when they also follow a regular aerobic exercise program.
Research strongly supports the benefits of exercise on coronary artery disease:
[For more information, see In-Depth Report #29: Exercise.]
Stress is always highly associated with negative effects on the heart and other parts of the body. A number of techniques are available to help people relax and reduce tension. [For more information, see In-Depth Report #31: Stress.]
American Heart Association Nutrition Committee; Lichtenstein AH, Appel LJ, Brands M, Carnethon M, Daniels S, et al. Diet and lifestyle recommendations revision 2006: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee. Circulation. 2006 Jul 4;114(1):82-96.
Bazzano LA, Reynolds K, Holder KN, He J. Effect of folic acid supplementation on risk of cardiovascular diseases: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. JAMA. 2006 Dec 13;296(22):2720-6.
Bryson CL, Mukamal KJ, Mittleman MA, Fried LP, Hirsch CH, Kitzman DW, et al. The association of alcohol consumption and incident heart failure: the Cardiovascular Health Study. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006 Jul 18;48(2):305-11.
Cook NR, Albert CM, Gaziano JM, Zaharris E, MacFadyen J, Danielson E, et al. A randomized factorial trial of vitamins C and E and beta carotene in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular events in women: results from the Women's Antioxidant Cardiovascular Study. Arch Intern Med. 2007 Aug 13-27;167(15):1610-8.
Dickinson HO, Nicolson DJ, Campbell F, Cook JV, Beyer FR, Ford GA, et al. Magnesium supplementation for the management of essential hypertension in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006 Jul 19;3:CD004640.
Fung TT, Chiuve SE, McCullough ML, Rexrode KM, Logroscino G, Hu FB. Adherence to a DASH-style diet and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke in women. Arch Intern Med. 2008 Apr 14;168(7):713-20.
Gardner CD, Kiazand A, Alhassan S, Kim S, Stafford RS, Balise RR, et al. Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN diets for change in weight and related risk factors among overweight premenopausal women: the A TO Z Weight Loss Study: a randomized trial. JAMA. 2007 Mar 7;297(9):969-77.
Gidding SS, Lichtenstein AH, Faith MS, Karpyn A, Mennella JA, Popkin B, Rowe J, Van Horn L, Whitsel L. Implementing American Heart Association pediatric and adult nutrition guidelines: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee of the council on nutrition, physical activity and metabolism, council on cardiovascular disease in the young, council on arteriosclerosis, thrombosis and vascular biology, council on cardiovascular nursing, council on epidemiology and prevention, and council for high blood pressure research. Circulation. 2009 Mar 3;119(8):1161-75.
GISSI-HF Investigators, Tavazzi L, Maggioni AP, Marchioli R, Barlera S, Franzosi MG, et al. Effect of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in patients with chronic heart failure (the GISSI-HF trial): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Lancet. 2008 Oct 4;372(9645):1223-30. Epub 2008 Aug 29.
Halton TL, Willett WC, Liu S, Manson JE, Albert CM, Rexrode K, et al. Low-carbohydrate-diet score and the risk of coronary heart disease in women. N Engl J Med. 2006 Nov 9;355(19):1991-2002.
Harris WS, Mozaffarian D, Rimm E, Kris-Etherton P, Rudel LL, Appel LJ, Engler MM,Engler MB, Sacks F. Omega-6 fatty acids and risk for cardiovascular disease: a science advisory from the American Heart Association Nutrition Subcommittee of the Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism; Council on Cardiovascular Nursing; and Council on Epidemiology and Prevention. Circulation. 2009 Feb 17;119(6):902-7. Epub 2009 Jan 26.
Horvath K, Jeitler K, Siering U, Stich AK, Skipka G, Gratzer TW, Siebenhofer A. Long-term effects of weight-reducing interventions in hypertensive patients: systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Intern Med. 2008 Mar 24;168(6):571-80.
Krauss RM. Nutrition and cardiovascular disease. In: Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, eds. Libby: Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 8th ed. Saunders;2007:chap 44.
Kuriyama S, Shimazu T, Ohmori K, Kikuchi N, Nakaya N, Nishino Y, et al. Green tea consumption and mortality due to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all causes in Japan: the Ohsaki study. JAMA. 2006 Sep 13;296(10):1255-65.
Lopez-Garcia E, van Dam RM, Willett WC, Rimm EB, Manson JE, Stampfer MJ, et al. Coffee consumption and coronary heart disease in men and women: a prospective cohort study. Circulation. 2006 May 2;113(17):2045-53.
McMillan-Price J, Petocz P, Atkinson F, O'Neill K, Samman S, Steinbeck K,et al. Comparison of 4 diets of varying glycemic load on weight loss and cardiovascular risk reduction in overweight and obese young adults: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Intern Med. 2006 Jul 24;166(14):1466-75.
Mosca L, Banka CL, Benjamin EJ, Berra K, Bushnell C, Dolor RJ, et al. Evidence-based guidelines for cardiovascular disease prevention in women: 2007 update. Circulation. 2007 Mar 20;115(11):1481-501.
Mozaffarian D, Rimm EB. Fish intake, contaminants, and human health: evaluating the risks and the benefits. JAMA. 2006 Oct 18;296(15):1885-99.
Mukamal KJ, Chiuve SE, Rimm EB. Alcohol consumption and risk for coronary heart disease in men with healthy lifestyles. Arch Intern Med. 2006 Oct 23;166(19):2145-50.
Sesso HD, Buring JE, Christen WG, Kurth T, Belanger C, MacFadyen J, et al. Vitamins E and C in the prevention of cardiovascular disease in men: the Physicians' Health Study II randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2008 Nov 12;300(18):2123-33. Epub 2008 Nov 9.
Shai I, Schwarzfuchs D, Henkin Y, Shahar DR, Witkow S, Greenberg I, et al. Weight loss with a low-carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or low-fat diet. N Engl J Med. 2008 Jul 17;359(3):229-41.
Slavin JL. Position of the American Dietetic Association: health implications of dietary fiber. J Am Diet Assoc. 2008 Oct;108(10):1716-31.
Sofi F, Cesari F, Abbate R, Gensini GF, Casini A. Adherence to Mediterranean diet and health status: meta-analysis. BMJ. 2008 Sep 11;337:a1344. doi: 10.1136/bmj.a1344.
© 2011 University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). All rights reserved.
UMMC is a member of the University of Maryland Medical System,
22 S. Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. TDD: 1-800-735-2258 or 1.866.408.6885