The Science Behind Food: Diet for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

In this episode of Patient Pulse, Dr. Michelle O’Donoghue from Brigham and Women’s Hospital focuses on a common patient question: “what should I really be eating for heart health?” Patients and clinicians are bombarded with mixed messaging around food, and there’s a lot confusion about what a “healthy diet” really looks like. Join Dr. O’Donoghue for a breakdown of some key nutritional studies and simple steps that you can take to boost your own heart health.

Some take-home points:
  • Nutrition and diets are hard to study for a number of reasons
    • It’s hard to monitor exactly what study participants are eating
    • We can’t always link food to outcomes or diseases
  • …But several clinical trials have shown that some diets can help cut cholesterol and reverse signs of heart disease
  • Healthy diets typically include plant-based foods and low amounts of sugar, refined grains, and processed foods

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