According to a study published by the American College of Cardiology, eating certain inflammatory foods may increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. The study, which was published in the same journal, looked at the effects of anti-inflammatory foods on potentially reduced risk.
At the heart of the problem is chronic inflammation and its role in the development of conditions that increase a person’s risk of heart attack and stroke. Past studies have called certain foods inflammatory, but new research has focused on whether long-term intake of these foods may increase the risk of stroke and heart disease.
Using data from the Nurses’ Health Study 1 and 2, the researchers followed up for 32 years, focusing on participants who included dietary information, while excluding those who had been diagnosed with stroke, cancer or heart disease. The latest study, which eventually included more than 210,000 people, found that participants reported their dietary information every four years.
A total of 18 food groups are considered inflammatory, including sugar, refined grains, red meat and processed foods. Participants who ate an anti-inflammatory diet were found to have a 46 percent risk of heart disease and a 28 percent stroke risk compared to participants on an anti-inflammatory diet.
The researchers recommend eating foods that contain fiber and antioxidants that may help reduce or suppress inflammation, including pumpkins, carrots, spinach, coffee and wine. In addition, the study recommends that consumers limit the amount of inflammatory foods they eat, including red meat, fried foods, soft drinks, and refined grains and sugars.