Middle-aged people who cut down on fatty meat, butter and cakes can cut their risk of heart attack by a third within three months, according to a study that was recently published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Carried out in the UK, the research showed that people who switched to healthier foods saw a reduction in blood pressure, cholesterol and heart rate, in addition to losing weight and slimming around the waist.
The health study
Half of those taking part in the study were told to eat a ‘typical British diet’, rich in white bread, red meat and full-fat cheese and butter, while the other half were given a dietary regime based on NHS guidelines, featuring low-fat dairy products, lean cuts of meat and wholegrain cereals, as well as eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day and oily fish once a week. They were also instructed to cut down on fizzy drinks, sweets and cakes.
The health study findings
- After 12 weeks the healthy eating group had, on average:
- lost 1.3kg in weight
- dropped 0.7cms from around the waist.
- a 4.2mm Hg reduction in systolic blood pressure
- an 8% reduction in cholesterol levels and
- a 1.8 beats per minute drop in heart rate.
The findings applied to middle-aged and older people without existing health problems. This is important because most heart attacks and strokes occur in those who are not identified as being at high risk.
Getting the right occupational health advice
The study demonstrates that it is never too late to make healthy lifestyle changes and that making small dietary changes can significantly reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
As an employer, it is important to keep employees healthy and reduce [sickness and absence] wherever possible. Obtaining professional occupational health advice can help employers to educate workers about healthy eating and general wellbeing without overstepping the mark.
If you have high sickness and absence levels or simply want to protect your employees from ill health, contact experienced occupational health provider Medigold Health today.