Your Heart will thank you even if you slip up in your diet

  • A study from Purdue University says that our food choices impact our risks of developing diseases like diabetes and heart diseases.
  • Weight fluctuations are also linked with our risks for heart diseases even for a month.
  • Findings from the study showed how fast the participant’s health improved with only a short time of adopting a healthy diet.

If you’ve ever tried to lose weight especially during the holidays, you know it’s not easy to make it last. Holidays are meant for family time and of course — eating.

But weight isn’t the only part of our health that can fluctuate during these times.  Rather, the risks for heart diseases follow closely with every change in eating patterns even only for a month or more, says a new article in the journal Nutrients.

Purdue University nutrition science professor Wayne Campbell says that what we choose to eat influences how our risks for diseases are developed even in a short period of time.

Failure in dieting is the norm and not an abnormality. Failing can lead to adopting diet plans repetitively however not maintaining healthy eating patterns.

Two previous studies conducted by Campbell at Purdue were reviewed to assess the effects of diet fluctuations on risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular ailments. In the study, participants were asked to adopt either a DASH-style eating (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) or a Meditteranean-style eating pattern.

According to lead author Lauren O’Connor, the DASH-eating pattern involved sodium intake control, while the Meditteranean aimed at increasing healthy fats. Both diets were rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

For six to eight weeks, a healthy eating pattern was adopted by participants, after which they had their risk factors measured. For the next four weeks, they reverted back to their normal eating patterns and then were checked afterward. They adopted again a healthy diet for five or six weeks, then had their risk factors evaluated for the last time.

As expected, the results looked like a cardiovascular rollercoaster. It showed how fast the health of participants improved with only a few weeks of healthy eating. Moreover, blood pressure and cholesterol levels were both reduced.

Campbell deduced that even if you’re not successful the first time in your attempt to adopt a healthy diet, the body doesn’t seem to combat the healthy effects of these diet patterns. “The best choice here is to keep the healthy pattern going, but if you slip up, try again,” he advised.

While the long-term effects of adopting and changing healthy eating patterns on heart health are unknown, studies on weight cycling suggest that fluctuating weights of obese people can do more damage than maintaining a steady weight.  Further studies are recommended to determine if long-term health effects of cycling in between eating patterns will show similar concerns.

Source: Science Daily

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