Your weight hugely determines the health of the cardiovascular system. To improve heart health and to protect yourself from any other ailments, weight loss is crucial. In this regard, a diet with reduced calories is heart-healthy.
This is because it encourages weight loss. Too much weight increases risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer. It ups blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. It also lowers the markers of HDL (good) cholesterol.
A 2009 study by the NHLBI found that a heart-healthy diet with reduced calories enabled weight loss. Now a latest research says that lowering the amount of calories you consume can improve heart health.
Calorie Reduction’s Effect on Heart Health
A new study says that reducing your calorie intake by even just 300 can benefit your cardiovascular health. Even if you already have a healthy weight, such a reduction in calories can positive impact your heart health. The journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology published this report on Thursday.
Dr. William Kraus, senior author of the study said, “Exercise and diet are the two most profound and easily implemented interventions we have in our environment that can reduce our cardiovascular risks.” He further added, “There aren’t five drugs on the market when combined that could approach what we saw in this study from moderate calorie restriction.”
Findings of the Study
For the research, scientists recruited 218 adults. Participants were healthy and in the age bracket of 21 to 50. Between the years 2007 and 2010, researchers assigned a 25% calorie restriction diet to 143 adults on random. The rest of the participants ate what they normally did.
Adults in the calorie restriction group decreased their calorie consumption by 11.9%. They didn’t reduce intake by 25% as they reduced 297 calories per day. Researchers monitored blood cholesterol markers, blood pressure, and triglyceride concentrations of participants for two years. These factors play a role in determining heart health.
Researchers noted that the total cholesterol levels and LDL cholesterol of participants in the calorie restriction group reduced substantially. This change occurred after one year of restricting calories and was maintained for about two years. Blood pressure levels also lowered in this group within six months, even more so after a year, and remained maintained throughout the study period.
Limitations of the Study
Several reports have recorded the effect of calorie restriction on weight. This particular study focuses on how it influences heart health. However, the study had some limitations. A larger research is needed to look at the effects of calorie restriction on a larger, more diverse group.
This study didn’t measure atherosclerosis among adults into account. It also didn’t measure physical activity, which helps with weight maintenance.
The first of its kind, a new study says cutting down calories helps better cardiovascular health. This it does by lowering blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Note that maintaining a healthy weight and ample physical activity is crucial for heart and overall health.