New MedDairy Diet Can Boost Your Heart Health: Here's How

New MedDairy Diet Can Boost Your Heart Health: Here’s How

by Adeline Dorcas on  January 28, 2019 at 2:31 PM Health Watch
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Highlights:
  • New dairy-enhanced Mediterranean diet (MedDairy diet) can offer surprising heart health benefits for thousands of people who are at high risk of developing heart disease
  • Eating a Mediterranean diet supplemented with two to three servings of milk products each day can significantly improve blood pressure, cholesterol, heart rate, mood and cognitive function
  • So, opt for MedDairy diet to improve your heart and cognitive health
Eating a dairy-enhanced Mediterranean diet can improve heart health for thousands of people who are at high risk of developing heart disease, reports a new study. The findings of the study are published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
New MedDairy Diet Can Boost Your Heart Health: Here’s How

Thousands of people can take heart as new research from the University of South Australia shows a dairy-enhanced Mediterranean diet will significantly increase health outcomes for those at risk of cardiovascular disease - and it's even more effective than a low-fat diet.

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Need for the Study

Cardiovascular disease takes the lives of 17.9 million people every year, representing 31 percent of all global deaths. In Australia, it is the single leading cause of death in Australia, affecting 4.2 million Australians and killing one Australian every 12 minutes.

Low-fat diets are often recommended as suitable food plans for those seeking to reduce their risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Similarly, the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) has been shown to deliver significant health benefits.

Details of the Study

In this UniSA study, the research team compared the health benefits of a MedDiet supplemented with two to three serves of dairy each day, and a generic low-fat diet.

Findings of the Study

The results show that the dairy-supplemented MedDiet (MedDairy) significantly improved blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, mood and cognitive function.

Ph.D. candidate Alexandra Wade says the new MedDairy diet challenges popular perceptions of what is considered healthy.

"The MedDiet is fast earning a reputation as the world's healthiest diet and is renowned for delivering improved cardiovascular and cognitive health," Wade says. "But it's also higher in fat, which can be a deterrent for people seeking to adopt a healthier eating plan, especially if they don't realize the difference between healthy and unhealthy fats."

In Australia, low-fat diets are often recommended for improving heart health, and they are still perceived as being healthy.

"This study shows that the new MedDairy works better than a generic low-fat diet, ensuring better health outcomes for people at risk of cardiovascular disease."

Importantly, the MedDairy diet also meets additional calcium requirements recommended by Australia's national health bodies.

A typical MedDiet includes extra virgin olive oil, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, wholegrain breads, pastas and cereals, moderate consumption of fish and red wine, and low consumption of red meat, sweet and processed foods. It also includes 1-2 servings of dairy foods (700-820mg calcium), which is less than half the dairy recommended by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for older Australians.

"Living in Australia, we have different dietary requirements, notably a need for more calcium to protect against osteoporosis," Wade says. "These needs are unmet in the traditional MedDiet, which makes it difficult for people to adopt in the long term. This study delivers healthier options for Australians by tailoring the nutrients in the MedDiet to meet the needs of a non-Mediterranean population."

In Australia, women up to age 50 years - and men up to age 70 years - should consume 1000mg per day of calcium per day and 1300mg thereafter, which is roughly between 3.5 and 4.5 serves a day.

The new MedDairy diet allows for three to four servings with dairy, which means Australians can more sustainably meet their recommended daily nutrient intakes while also maintaining the significant health benefits offered through the MedDiet.

"When it comes down to it, people want to be able to enjoy a colorful, tasty and nutritious diet. And if you're one of the thousands of people seeking to improve your cardiovascular and cognitive health - look no further than the MedDairy diet."

Source: Eurekalert

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