Eating Fabulous points to this Consumer Reports article on designing a heart-healthy diet. Advice offered includes recommended fruits and vegetables to load up on, designing a diet around the “Mediterranean eating plan,” and whether “heart-healthy supplements” actually promote heart health. Their supplement advice is particularly interesting, as they investigate three supplements currently marketed as heart-healthy, including B vitamins (like folic acid) and fish oils. For example, here’s what they have to say about vitamin E:
While considerable observational evidence has associated high intakes of vitamin E with protection against heart disease, several large-scale clinical trials have failed to find persuasive evidence that vitamin E supplements yield any benefit to the heart. In fact, some suggest the opposite.
Upshot: We feel that taking supplements of vitamin E to lower your risk of heart disease is a waste of time and money.
Consumer Reports also recommended eating a diet with enough “healthy fats” (as opposed to those nasty ones the USDA recently reported on) and various colors of fruits and veggies to ensure a wide variety of micronutrients. Personally, I’ve always thought consuming vitamins and nutrients naturally is probably much healthier than taking supplements. Of course, there’s so many chemicals in our food now, maybe it doesn’t matter.
One thing’s for sure: when it comes to preventing heart disease, research matters.