Five recommended health behaviors may prevent four out of five heart attacks in men, a new study suggests.
Middle-aged and older men were much less likely to have heart attacks over an average of 11 years if they drank moderately, didn’t smoke and did everything right on the diet, exercise and weight fronts, the study found.
Only about 1 percent of men involved in the study fit into this ultra-healthy-living category. But they were 86 percent less likely to have heart attacks than those who ate poorly, were overweight, exercised too little, smoked and drank too much alcohol, the researchers said.
The healthiest men could still eventually die of a heart attack, of course, and the study didn’t say if they live longer than others.
Still, “there is a lot to gain and money to be saved if people had a healthier lifestyle,” said study lead author Agneta Akesson, an associate professor with the Institute of Environmental Medicine at Karolinska Institute in Solna, Sweden.
As for women, Akesson is the co-author of a previous study suggesting healthy living has a similar effect on females.
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Scientists have found that eating almonds in your diet can reduce the risk of heart disease by keeping blood vessels healthy.
Research found that they significantly increase the amount of antioxidants in the blood stream, reduce blood pressure and improve blood flow. These findings add weight to the theory that Mediterranean diets with lots of nuts have big health benefits.
The study was led by Professor Helen Griffiths, Professor in Biomedical Sciences and Executive Dean of the School of Life and Health Sciences at Aston University in Birmingham, UK. Researchers tested the effects of a short-term almond-enriched diet on healthy young and middle-aged men as well as on a group of young men with cardiovascular risk factors including having high blood pressure or being overweight.
At the end of the study period, the group eating an almond-enriched diet had higher levels of antioxidants (alpha-tocopherol) in their blood stream, improved blood flow and lower blood pressure, potentially reducing their risk of heart disease.
Professor Griffiths said: “Our study confirms that almonds are a superfood. Previous studies have shown that they keep your heart healthy, but our research proves that it isn’t too late to introduce them into your diet – adding even a handful (around 50g) every day for a short period can help. You could replace a daytime snack with a bag of almonds or add them to your regular meals like porridge or muesli to help reduce your risk of heart problems.”
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Source: Medical News Today.
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