Research Roundup

May 2016 Issue

Healthy Fats, Caffeine, and the Nordic Diet for Senior Women

Healthy Fats May Extend Life

Researchers gathered long-term diet information from people in 186 countries and estimated that 10 percent of heart disease deaths (700,000) worldwide were due to consuming insufficient amounts of omega-6 fats. Four percent of heart disease deaths (250,000) could have been prevented by reducing saturated fats, and eight percent (537,000) were linked to excess trans fats intake. They recommended reducing intake of saturated fats (animal fats) and trans fats (found in partially hydrogenated oil), and replacing them with unsaturated fats, such as those from seafood, nuts, seeds, avocados, and vegetable oils.

Journal of the American Heart Association, January 2016


Caffeine May Not Lead to Extra Heart Beats

Premature atrial and ventricular contractions (essentially, extra heart beats) are common, and in rare cases may cause stroke or heart disease deaths. Researchers from the University of San Francisco measured intake of caffeinated products over 12 months. After analyzing data on 1,388 individuals, they found no difference in the number of premature atrial and ventricular contractions across various levels of coffee, tea, and chocolate intake.

Journal of the American Heart Association, January 2016


Better Performance in Older Women on Nordic Diet

A healthy, traditional Nordic diet, rich in berries, root and cruciferous vegetables, whole grains, fish, and low-fat dairy, is linked with better physical performance in later life. In the study, dietary intake from 1,072 participants over 12 months was ranked using a scoring system for the healthy Nordic diet. While no significant observations were noted among the men, the women who most closely adhered to a healthy Nordic diet performed better in a fitness test compared to those who adhered the least to the dietary pattern.

Journal of the American Heart Association, January 2016