Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Two Dietary Studies on Heart Disease

Both are opposed to the usual advice to avoid dietary fat. Not random experiments, mind you, but still interesting:

Sara Holmberg, Anders Thelin and Eva-Lena Stiernström. Food Choices and Coronary Heart Disease: A Population Based Cohort Study of Rural Swedish Men with 12 Years of Follow-up. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6, 2626-2638.

Nutritional recommendations are frequently provided, but few long term studies on the effect of food choices on heart disease are available. We followed coronary heart disease morbidity and mortality in a cohort of rural men (N = 1,752) participating in a prospective observational study. Dietary choices were assessed at baseline with a 15-item food questionnaire. 138 men were hospitalized or deceased owing to coronary heart disease during the 12 year follow-up. Daily intake of fruit and vegetables was associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease when combined with a high dairy fat consumption (odds ratio 0.39, 95% CI 0.21-0.73), but not when combined with a low dairy fat consumption (odds ratio 1.70, 95% CI 0.97-2.98). Choosing wholemeal bread or eating fish at least twice a week showed no association with the outcome.
In other words, eating fruit and vegetables was associated with a 70% higher risk of heart disease if not accompanied by dairy fat.
Leosdottir, Margret; Nilsson, Peter M.; Nilsson, Jan-Åke; Berglund, Göran. Cardiovascular event risk in relation to dietary fat intake in middle-aged individuals: data from the Malmo Diet and Cancer Study. European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation, October 2007, 14 no. 5, 701-706.

The hypothesis that diets rich in total and saturated fat and poor in unsaturated fats increase the risk for cardiovascular disease is still vividly debated. The aim of this study was to examine whether total fat, saturated fat, or unsaturated fat intakes are independent risk factors for cardiovascular events in a large population-based cohort.

Methods: 28 098 middle-aged individuals (61% women) participated in the Malmö Diet and Cancer Study between 1991 and 1996. In this analysis, individuals with an earlier history of cardiovascular disease were excluded. With adjustments made for confounding by age and various anthropometric, social, dietary, and life-style factors, hazard ratios (HR) were estimated for individuals categorized by quartiles of fat intake [HR (95% confidence interval, CI), Cox's regression model].

Results: No trend towards higher cardiovascular event risk for women or men with higher total or saturated fat intakes, was observed. Total fat: HR (95% CI) for fourth quartile was 0.98 (0.77-1.25) for women, 1.02 (0.84-1.23) for men; saturated fat: 0.98 (0.71-1.33) for women and 1.05 (0.83-1.34) for men. Inverse associations between unsaturated fat intake and cardiovascular event risk were not observed.

Conclusions: In relation to risks of cardiovascular events, our results do not suggest any benefit from a limited total or saturated fat intake, nor from relatively high intake of unsaturated fat.



Blogger Unknown said...

Time to break out the ice cream, then, right?

5:51 PM  
Blogger Joseph said...

I'll have broccoli with cheese sauce, please.

2:51 AM  
Blogger Rebekah said...

We only drink whole milk now and use real butter, in moderation, instead of magarine. Don't know how it's affecting our arteries, but it hasn't made us gain weight.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Brett said...

If I'm reading this study right, it's not so much that eating veggies without ice cream will hurt you, as that veggies only help you if you're getting enough ice cream. While the ice cream helps you somewhat regardless of your veggie intake.

This would actually suggest that the beneficial component of the veggies is soluble in dairy fat, and probably passes right through you unabsorbed if there's no dairy fat present to mobilize it.

At least, that's what I got out of the study.

8:06 PM  

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