Even Intermittent Healthy Eating Lowers CVD Risk Factors
New research published in the journal Nutrients found that adopting, abandoning, and then readopting a healthy eating pattern, such as the DASH diet or Mediterranean-style diet, can still lead to a reduction in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. Researchers retrospectively analyzed data from two randomized controlled trials that included a total of 60 study participants. Participants were provided with foods that met either the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet or a Mediterranean-style diet for five to six weeks, separated by a four-week unrestricted eating period. Both of these test diets were designed to be high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources. The results showed that most CVD risk factors improved after each period of dietary intervention, and then worsened again in between. While sustained healthy eating is best, even short-term periods of healthy eating can be helpful.