There may be some new hope for those at risk for heart failure. According to researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine, the DASH diet has proven to not only have positive effects on high blood pressure but it reduces the risk of heart failure for people under the age of 75.
The study included more the 4,000 people and showed that those who followed the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet the most showed signs of reducing the development of heart failure more than those who didn’t keep up with the diet.
“This research showed that following the DASH diet can reduce the risk of developing heart failure by almost half, which is better than any medicine,” lead research author, Claudia L. Campos, M.D., said.
Groups of multi-ethnic men and women were separated into five groups based on how closely they aligned with the DASH diet after answering a 120-item questionnaire about their eating habits, serving size and frequency of consumption.
From there, researchers learned that the risk of heart failure didn’t vary significantly for the population as a whole, but they saw a change with participants under 75.
“Heart failure is a frequent cause of hospitalization in older adults and is associated with substantial health care costs, so identifying modifiable risk factors for of heart failure is an important public health goal,” Campos said.
The DASH diet focuses on the eating of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, poultry, fish, and low-fat dairy products while reducing consumption of salt, red meat, sweets, and sugar-sweetened beverages. It is similar to the Mediterranean diet but differs in recommending low-fat dairy products and excluding alcoholic beverages.
Learn more about the benefits of the DASH diet in the video above.