ACC Prevention Council Perspective Explores Food Trends

Nutritional "hypes" and controversies around dairy products, added sugar, legumes, coffee and tea, alcohol, energy drinks, mushrooms, fermented foods, Omega-3s and vitamin B12 are discussed by ACC's Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Council in a perspective published July 23 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC).

The Council reviewed research on each topic and reached a consensus in order to provide recommendations to facilitate dietary counseling by clinicians.

Recommendations from the Council include eliminating added sugars as much as possible, eating legumes and consuming dairy with caution as it is unclear if there is benefit or harm and as it serves as a big source of saturated fat and salt. The authors acknowledge that both coffee and tea are associated with cardiovascular benefits. While there are have also been benefits associated with low-to-moderate consumption of alcohol, due to risks of falls, certain cancers and liver disease, the researchers don't recommend that individuals consume alcohol for cardiovascular benefit.

The review also warns against energy drinks, acknowledges possible benefits of mushrooms, fermented foods, omega-3 fatty acids and states that there is no support for the use of supplemental vitamin B12 for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

"There is no perfect, one size fits all dietary pattern for preventing heart disease," said Andrew M. Freeman, MD, FACC, director of cardiovascular prevention and wellness at National Jewish Health and the review's lead author. "But, most of the evidence continues to reinforce that a predominantly plant-based diet lower in fat, added sugars, added salt, processed foods, and with limited if any animal products seem to be where the data is pointing us. It is important for clinicians to stay on top of rising food trends and current scientific evidence to provide meaningful and accurate nutritional advice for patients."

This the second JACC perspective from ACC's Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Council discussing food trends. The first review found that current evidence strongly supports eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts in moderation. It also covered eggs and cholesterol, vegetable oils, berries and antioxidant supplementation, nuts, juicing, and gluten.

Clinical Topics: Dyslipidemia, Prevention, Lipid Metabolism, Nonstatins, Statins, Diet

Keywords: Vegetables, Fruit, Nuts, Coffee, Fabaceae, Fatty Acids, Omega-3, Vitamin B 12, Agaricales, Plant Oils, Energy Drinks, Glutens, Consensus, Accidental Falls, Diet, Dairy Products, Sodium Chloride, Dietary, Cholesterol, Cardiovascular Diseases, Counseling, Neoplasms, Liver Diseases, Heart Diseases, Tea


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