High Fiber Diet Can Lower Cardiovascular Risk in Hypertensive Diabetics

October 04, 2019
heart attackResults of a new study suggest implementing a high fiber diet could lead to a reduction in cardiovascular risk among patients with hypertension and type 2 diabetes.

The study, which was presented at the  American College of Cardiology (ACC) Middle East Conference 2019 together with the 10th Emirates Cardiac Society Congress, found patients with hypertension and type 2 diabetes who consumed a high fiber diet had improvements in their blood pressure, total cholesterol, and fasting glucose.

In an effort to further investigate the role diet plays in the severity of cardiovascular disease, researchers from Care Well Heart and Super Specialty Hospital in Amritsar, India, designed a study to evaluate the impact of a high fiber diet in a cohort of patients with both hypertension and type 2 diabetes. A total of 200 patients were involved in the study.

Patients included in the study had type 2 diabetes and a calorie intake of 1200 to 1500 kcal, which based on recommended dietary allowance caused their fiber intake to be 24 to 30 g. Fiber uptake of these patients was increased by up to 20 to 25% from the recommended allowance.

Investigator tracked the fiber intake of patients for 6 months and assessments were conducted at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months. All study participants received diet prescriptions with detailed list of different foods and portion sizes. Investigators noted multiple steps were taken, including dietitian-guided counseling sessions and use of audio-visual aids, to ensure understanding among study participants.

The dietary habits of participants was monitored in a multitude of ways. Monitoring took place through photos of their meals on WhatsApp—a popular messaging app— and also through telephone calls 3 times a week where detailed dietary recall was taken.

Upon analyses, investigators found that patients on a high fiber diet experienced significant improvements in multiple cardiovascular risk factors. These improvements included a 9% reduction in serum cholesterol, a 23% reduction in triglycerides, a 15% reduction of systolic blood pressure, and a 28% reduction of fasting glucose.

"This study helps us determine three important things for this patient population. Firstly, a high fiber diet is important in cases of diabetes and hypertension to prevent future cardiovascular disease,” said lead investigator Rohit Kapoor, MD, medical director of Care Well Heart and Super Specialty Hospital in a release from the ACC. “Secondly, medical nutrition therapy and regular counseling sessions also hold great importance in treating and prevention of diabetes and hypertension. Thirdly, this type of diet in combination with medical treatment can improve dyslipidemia, pulse wave velocity, waist-to-hip ratio and hypertension.”

This study was presented at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Middle East Conference 2019 together with the 10th Emirates Cardiac Society Congress in Dubai, UAE.
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