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Try, Try Again


Risk factors track with eating patterns

If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again!  This is the diet advice gleaned from research out of Perdue University.  Published in Nutrients, researchers tested how quickly the body responds – think weight, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors – to periods of eating healthfully when compared to normal (and possibly unhealthy) eating. 

Sixty, healthy, non-smoking men and women were enlisted to follow a healthy diet like DASH for 5-6 weeks, followed by 4 weeks of  normal or unrestricted eating.  It was then followed by another period of readopting the diet.  Each period concluded with a checkup to asses CVD risk factors. 

This study simulated what happens to most of us this time of year.  We start a healthful eating pattern with New Year’s resolutions, and then for one reason or another, we fall back into our old habits, then when February rolls around it becomes time to re-visit our health goals.  But what investigators uncovered is that the participant’s blood pressure (BP) and cholesterol improved quite quickly once a healthy eating pattern was initiated the second time.  For example, after the first six week period of healthful eating, fasting systolic BP dropped by 6 points, and cholesterol also dropped by 19.  After a washout of normal eating, resuming a healthful diet for another six weeks produced similar lab results where systolic BP dropped by 5 and cholesterol by 13.   Which means- all is not lost!  Falling off the diet wagon is common, but knowing that your body responds quickly to food intake should be an encouraging fact that helps you get back on track! 

This February, in honor of American Heart Month, show yourself some love with a second chance to reach your health goals.  It’s never too late to start!    Bananas, a source of Vitamins B6, C and Potassium are a particularly heart healthy fruit.  Try our Wake Up Oats, to kick your day and diet off on the right foot.

Published February 1, 2019

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