A diet low in saturated fat and sugar can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases in men and women over the age of 40 years, revealed researchers at the King's College, London.
Researchers recruited healthy men and women and compared the risk factors for heart diseases following UK guidelines as compared to traditional British diet. 162 study participants on the modified diet were asked to reduce the intake of added sugar and salt and consume more of oily fish and fruits. After a period of 12 weeks, it was observed that there was difference of 0.7 Body Mass Index (BMI) between the modified and the control group and the levels of cholesterol also fell by 8% in the modified group. No significant change was noted in markers for insulin sensitivity, which predicts the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Thus, the study concluded that healthy individuals, who adapt their diet as per UK dietary guidelines, reduced the risk of cardiovascular diseases by up to a third.
Emeritus Professor Tom Sanders, co-author from the Division of Diabetes and Nutritional Sciences at King's College London, said, "Our findings applied to middle aged and older people with no health problems since most heart attacks occurred to the ones who were not at their risk and that a change from the traditional British diet high in sugar, to the UK dietary one that is low in sugar and fats, substantially lowered the risk of heart related problems."
The study appears in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition