Some popular vices, like wine and coffee, could lead to improved heart health.
Isn’t that the positive news we need in 2020?
Researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health looked at up to 30 years of dietary data from over 200,000 Americans to pinpoint the foods that contributed to heart disease and upped stroke risks.
"Our study is among the first to link a food-based dietary inflammatory index with long-term risk of cardiovascular disease," Dr. Jun Li, lead author of the study and a nutrition researcher at the school, said in a press release, per Insider.
The results found that a diet in pro-inflammatory ingredients and processed foods could increase the risk of heart disease by 46% and stroke by 28%.
Foods such as red meat, processed meat, refined grains, and sugary drinks were linked to biomarkers that indicated stress on the body, previous research also noted.
On the other hand, anti-inflammatory foods led to a lower risk of heart disease and stroke.
These included foods that are higher in antioxidants and vitamins like leafy greens, orange and yellow veggies (carrots and peppers), whole grains, coffee, tea, and red wine.
Additionally, plant-based foods were also known to reduce inflammation and provide protection against heart disease, findings that were consistent with former studies.
Dr. Ramon Estruch, author of the editorial comment and senior consultant in the department of internal medicine at Hospital Clinic in Barcelona, explained that further research was required on how certain foods affect inflammation and how they correlate with eating patterns.
"A better knowledge of health protection provided by different foods and dietary patterns, mainly their anti-inflammatory properties, should provide the basis for designing even healthier dietary patterns to protect against heart disease," Estruch said in a press release.
"When choosing foods in our diet, we should indeed beware of their pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory potential,” he added.