A new research has concluded that the DASH eating plan, known to reduce blood pressure and bad cholesterol, also reduces the 10-year risk of heart attack, especially among African-Americans.
The DASH eating plan emphasizes fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products as well as whole grains, poultry, fish and nuts.
The plan also calls for a reduction in fats, red meat, sweets, and sugar-containing beverages. The U.S. government and American Heart Association recommend it.
The study researchers found that the DASH plan: lowered the participants' 10-year risk of having a heart attack or other coronary heart disease event by about 18 percent compared to those eating a typical American diet.
In the study, 436 patients (average age 45, 60 percent African-American) had either Stage I high blood pressure (140-159/90-99 mmHg) or were pre-hypertensive (120 - 139/80-89 mmHg) and assigned to one of three diets: the DASH eating plan; a typical American diet (low in minerals, such as potassium, magnesium and calcium, and high in saturated fat, total fat, and cholesterol); or the typical American diet plus additional fruits and vegetables.
To determine how DASH affected coronary heart disease risk, researchers plugged their data (blood pressure and cholesterol results) into the Framingham Heart Risk Equation and calculated the 10-year risk of developing coronary heart disease, researchers said.
This research confirms that people can benefit from eating according to the DASH plan.
The research has been reported in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, an American Heart Association journal.