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Heart disease is a major health concern, being the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The World Health Organization also highlights the role of nutrition in the development and prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Good nutrition has been linked to the prevention and management of heart disease, while poor nutrition has been associated with its development and progression. In this article, we will delve into recent research studies and scientific reviews published in ASN Journals that shed light on the relationship between nutrition and heart disease.

Low-Fat Diet and Cardiovascular Outcomes in Normotensive Women

A study published in Current Developments in Nutrition investigated the impact of a low-fat diet on cardiovascular disease risk among normotensive women. The Women’s Health Initiative Diet Modification Trial, a randomized clinical trial involving 48,835 postmenopausal women, examined whether a low-fat dietary pattern could reduce the incidence of breast and colorectal cancers, with coronary heart disease as a secondary outcome. The study found that a behaviorally focused dietary intervention advocating reduction of total fat intake through replacement with plant-based carbohydrate and protein foods reduced the risk of coronary heart disease in normotensive women.

Glycemic Index and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study by Sabina Sieri et al. that explored the association between high glycemic index foods and the risk of heart disease. The study analyzed data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, which involved 338,325 participants. The researchers found that high dietary glycemic load and glycemic index were associated with a greater risk of coronary heart disease. Interestingly, the association was influenced by body weight, with overweight and obese individuals showing a higher risk. However, the study acknowledged that interactions between foods in meals were not accounted for in the analysis.

Healthy Eating Patterns and Cardiovascular Disease Risk

The Journal of Nutrition featured a study by Emily A. Hu et al. that examined the impact of adherence to different healthy eating patterns on the incidence of cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular disease mortality, and all-cause mortality. The researchers analyzed data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, which included 12,413 men and women aged 45-64 years. The study found that adherence to the Healthy Eating Index-2015, Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010, alternate Mediterranean diet, and Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) were all associated with a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular disease mortality, and all-cause mortality. The strongest associations were observed for cardiovascular disease mortality.

Whole-Fat vs. Reduced-Fat Dairy Product Intake in Children

A systematic review published in Advances in Nutrition by Therese A. O’Sullivan et al. addressed the association between whole-fat and reduced-fat dairy intake and cardiometabolic health in children. The review focused on studies involving children aged 2 to 18 years and examined measures of adiposity and biomarkers of cardiometabolic disease risk. The majority of evidence indicated that consumption of whole-fat dairy was not associated with increased cardiometabolic risk. However, the review acknowledged that not all studies reported consistent results, and there was a study suggesting that switching from whole-fat to reduced-fat dairy improved certain cardiometabolic risk factors.


In conclusion, research studies and scientific reviews published in ASN Journals have provided valuable insights into the role of nutrition in the development and treatment of heart disease. These studies highlight the benefits of a low-fat diet, the impact of glycemic index on heart disease risk, the association between healthy eating patterns and cardiovascular outcomes, and the potential cardiometabolic benefits of whole-fat dairy consumption in children. By understanding the link between diet and heart health, individuals can make informed choices to reduce their risk of heart disease and promote overall cardiovascular well-being.

If you are conducting research in the field of nutrition and heart health, consider submitting your findings to an ASN Journal. The American Society for Nutrition (ASN) is committed to improving the ease and speed of publishing, as well as the discoverability of journal content. Publishing your research with ASN can contribute to advancing knowledge in the field of nutrition and its impact on heart health.

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