The study, which was published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, looked at food frequency (of 19 food groups, adjusted for food preferences per country) results of 5761 people that have had heart attacks and 10,646 people without known heart disease from 52 countries.
3 different dietary groups were identified:
1. Prudent diet- People in this group ate more fruits and vegetables and had a 30% lower risk of heart attack compared to people who ate less fruits and veggies.
2. Western diet- Individuals in this group ate more fried foods, salty snacks, eggs and meat. As
mentioned above, this type of diet was associated with a 35% greater risk of heart attack than those that ate less meat, fat and salt.
3. Oriental diet- This diet was higher in tofu as well as soy sauce. This diet had no relationship with heart attack risk, despite its high sodium level. The researchers suggest that the healthy aspects of this diet-low in meat and relatively higher in vegetables- counteract the effect of the high sodium. Nonetheless, they note that the high salt could increase stroke risk, which was not looked at in this study.
Although we’ve known for a while that a diet high in animal protein, fat and salt increases the risk of heart disease, what this study shows us is that this same relationship exists in other regions around the world.
Eat lots of vegetables and fruit, reduce your intake of fried foods, meat and salty foods. ... Duh.