A fish diet where 35g or more of fish is eaten every day can protect you against a heart attack, researchers have concluded.
A research team from Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago decided, in the face of conflicting evidence, to find out the definitive answer.
The study involved 1822 men aged between 40 and 55 who were free of cardiovascular disease; on average they were overweight, with too high levels of blood pressure, and cholesterol; half were smokers and most were drinkers, consuming an average of 18.8ml of alcohol a day.
Despite this, those who ate 35g or more of fish enjoyed a far lower risk of heart disease (New Eng J Med, 1997; 336: 1046-53).
Similar good news for those eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy foods. These foods can substantially reduce blood pressure levels, as researchers discovered when they recruited 459 hypertension patients. Those given the diet saw their systolic and diastolic pressure rates fall 5.5 and 3 mm Hg more than the control group, who did not have high blood pressure (New Eng J Med 1997; 336: 1117-24).
For more information, see the WDDTY Guide to the Heart, and the WDDTY Better Diet Guide.