Nutrition News

‘Portfolio Diet’ Shown To Improve Cardiovascular Health

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It may come as no surprise that highly processed, sugary beverages aren’t so good when it comes to protecting yourself from heart disease, but did you know that the portfolio diet can reduce both your cholesterol and blood pressure?

A recent St. Michael’s Hospital study published in Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease revealed that the portfolio diet could lower blood pressure by an average of 2 percent. The study compared the portfolio diet to another diet focused on relieving hypertension, known as DASH.

According to EurekAlert!, the lead author of the study, Dr. David Jenkins, said, “This is a very important secondary finding to the original study, adding to the literature connecting diet with health.”

This is a very important secondary finding to the original study, adding to the literature connecting diet with health. It fills in yet another area we often worry about. We can now say the dietary portfolio is ideal for reducing overall risk of cardiovascular disease.

Otherwise known as the Portfolio Eating Plan, the diet consists of plenty of nuts, soya, leafy vegetables, viscous fiber (such as that found in barley, oats and eggplant), beans and pulses. The diet with which scientists were comparing it was heavy in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and also emphasized reduced meat, dairy, and snack food consumption.

Dr. Jenkins also noted in the Daily Mail, “Overall, research has shown that plant-based diets emphasizing foods higher in protein, oil and fiber reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.” He explained that guidelines in both Europe and Canada had already been influenced by the portfolio diet’s positive impact on cholesterol. Cholesterol and high blood pressure are often treated with drugs, but nutritional experts like Jenkins are advocates of diet modification. The findings in his particular study built upon and further validated the findings of previous studies.

The portfolio diet is low in saturated fats and salt. 30 grams of nuts are included on a daily basis, as well as 50 grams of soya. 20 grams of soluble fiber are recommended. The diet is particularly high in intake of oats. Of course, regular exercise is also recommended for those at-risk for heart disease.

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