Chinese adults with hypertension who follow this diet for four weeks significantly reduce their blood pressure.
It is a modified version of traditional Chinese food, healthier for the heart and with less sodium, as evidenced by a study published in the scientific journal “Circulation”, edited by the American Heart Association.
The sodium reduction is one of the main characteristics of the heart healthy chinese diet, modeled according to dietary guidelines DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) because a poor diet, particularly a diet high in sodium, is a key modifiable risk factor for high blood pressure.
“Compared to the nutritional composition of a typical Chinese diet in urban China, our heart healthy food of traditional Chinese cuisine halved sodium from 6,000 mg to 3,000 mg per day, reduced fat intake and doubled dietary fiber. It also increased protein, carbohydrates and potassium,” said first author and study team co-chair Dr. Yanfang Wangnutritionist and teacher Peking University Clinical Research Institute (China).
According to this study, the load of cardiovascular illnesses has increased considerably in recent decades in China. Unhealthy changes in the Chinese diet have been one of the main factors behind the increase in cardiovascular disease.
Participation in the study 265 Chinese adults, mean age 56, with blood pressure at or above 130 mm Hg. Slightly more than half of the participants were female and almost half were taking at least one blood pressure medication at the start of the study. study. Participants were recruited in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu. These are four major cities in China, each with its corresponding regional cuisine: Shangdong, Huaiyang, Guangzhou and Szechuan, respectively.
The Chinese Heart Healthy Diet was developed with catering organizations in these regions and adapted to four regional cuisines, so that researchers can understand whether the effect of heart-healthy eating would be applicable and long-lasting across different Chinese food cultures. This could be seen as a challenge, as traditional Chinese cuisine has used salt to cook and preserve food for thousands of years.
According to the study, participants who followed the heart-healthy Chinese diet had a drop in blood pressure, because systolic blood pressure (the top number) dropped an average of 10 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure dropped an average of 3.8 mm Hg, compared to the normal diet group.
The additional cost of the Chinese heart-healthy diet was approximately 60 cents more per day per person, on average, compared to the usual local diet. This was considered low and generally affordable.
The researchers noted that these results suggest that the effects achieved by the Chinese heart-healthy diet, if sustained, may reduce serious cardiovascular disease by 20%; heart failure by 28% and death from all causes by 13%.