Healthy Heart Diet

This is a healthy heart diet which springs a few surprises….

Moderation in all things as a defence against heart failure can now be extended to include the consumption of alcoholic drinks such as beer and wine, according to recent research conducted at the Harvard Medical School in the U.S.

The study, published in January 2015 shows that compared to teetotallers, middle aged men who drank up to three and a half pints of beer or 7 small glasses of wine a week enjoyed a 20% lower risk of developing heart failure.

Women who were moderate drinkers were also found to be at lower risk of heart failure than their non drinking counterparts,  although the benefits of consuming up to 7 drinks per week were slightly lower at 16%.

The research also found that even those men and women participating in the trial who consumed 14 drinks or more per week were no more likely to suffer heart failure than total abstainers.

However the researchers cautioned that as the number of heavy drinkers in the study was small the link between heavy drinking and heart failure may not have shown up as it had on other trials where the numbers were greater.

Professor Scott Solomon commented; “these findings suggest that drinking alcohol in moderation does not contribute to an increased risk of heart failure and may even be protective.”

red wine

Healthy Heart Diet Trial Results

The overall number of people participating in the trial was substantial; 14,629 people aged between 45 and 64 were studied for a period of 24-25 years. Researchers also took into account lifestyle choices which could impact on overall health such as;

Body Mass Index 

Smoking

High Blood Pressure 

Cholesterol levels 

After factoring in all of the above the results still showed that moderate drinkers had a reduced risk of heart failure.

Writing in the European Heart Journal, Professor Scott cautioned that the results of the study did not necessarily mean the lowered risk was attributable to moderate alcohol consumption.

How To Change Unhealthy Lifestyle Choices

For those of us who wish to change unhealthy lifestyle choices by giving up smoking, losing weight or exercising more, it is easier to achieve our goals with a like minded partner.

Researchers at University College London studied 3,722 couples, either married or living together, to discover whether working together to achieve their aims had a more positive outcome than trying on their own.

Women smokers who attempted to give up at the same time as their partner achieved a 50% success rate. However for women going it alone whose partner did not smoke only 17%  managed to give up. This dropped even further to just 8% if their partner continued to smoke.

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