In my clinic I am regularly seeing clients who are chronically ill. Many times they are not including the full range and variety nor quantity of vegetables needed for optimal physiological and psychological functioning.
Dr Katherine Livingstone from Deakin University's Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN) new research published in BMJ Open clearly points to the efficacy of eating a wide variety of foods rather than eating a restrictive diet. This research is particularly significant for those experiencing or at risk of heart disease.
"Typically, we know that eating well is good for our health, but the link between our diet and our genetic pre-disposition to heart disease has been less clear," Dr Livingstone said.
"This research shows that healthy eating habits are important for reducing our risk of a heart attack, even if we are genetically pre-disposed to heart disease."
Using the UK Biobank for her population analysis, 77,004 men and women (aged 40-69) were followed up for an average of eight years to understand how diet and genetics determined heart attack risk
"As we might expect, individuals had a higher risk of heart attack if they had a genetic pre-disposition to heart disease but, significantly, this risk of heart attack was substantially reduced if they ate a healthier, Mediterranean-style dietary pattern compared to a less healthy, non-Mediterranean-style diet," Dr Livingstone said.
Dr Livingstone advocates the Mediterranean-style diet with raw cold pressed olive oil, plenty of fruit and vegetables, herbs, legumes, beans, nuts and fish and a little less red meat and no processed meat.
*Dr Livingstone's research was conducted using the UK Biobank Resource under Application 34894 and she is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council Emerging Leadership Fellowship (APP1173803).