We know that what we eat can increase or decrease risk factors for heart disease and type II diabetes, but a new study (February, 2016) wanted to find out if people with diabetes had a greater risk of getting heart disease if they ate certain foods. This study followed 726 Japanese patients with type II diabetes.
The researchers divided participants into “types of eaters” ─ those who ate certain foods more often. They found that three dietary patterns in particular determined either lower or higher risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Taking into account that this research was done within the Japanese community, researchers found that a “Seaweeds, Vegetables, Soy and Mushrooms” diet was associated with the heart-healthiest lifestyle and lower requirements for diabetes medication. The “Noodle and Soup” diet was associated with higher body mass index (fat to lean body ratio), higher triglyceride levels, and two other biochemical markers of cardiovascular disease risk. The “Fruit, Dairy and Sweets” diet was associated with a healthier liver (especially important for diabetics) and healthy blood pressure, but was also attributed to two biochemical risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Therefore, researchers concluded that dietary patterns, and not just certain foods, correlated with heart disease risks. Other studies have found that reducing calories and increasing exercise did not affect the rate of cardiovascular disease in diabetics, but the Japanese scientists felt that what meals contain, rather than just caloric intake or even individual foods, may be the culprit. Since meals often combine disease-preventative and non-preventative foods (such as vegetables with noodles) their complexity must be considered, and then modified. “The food contents usually have interactive and synergistic effects and occasionally even antagonistic effects, so in fact, dietary patterns may be more predictive of disease risks compared to specific food- and nutrient-based approaches,” says the study.
(Yusuke Osonoi, Tomoya Mita, Takeshi Osonoi et al.,“Relationship between dietary patterns and risk factors for cardiovascular disease in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus,” February 2016, Nutrition Journal, 201615:15, Juntendo University, Tokyo, Naka Memorial Clinic, Naka, Japan.)


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