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Delay Heart Problems With a Good Diet

As we age, our hearts don't function as well as they used to. Studies conducted on animals have shown that reducing caloric intake can help them live longer. Reducing calories has also been shown to lower the risk of atherosclerosis in humans. A new study shows that while reducing the amount of calories you consume may help your heart continue to function normally with age, it is just as important that you consume a balanced diet.

In this study, scientists examined heart function in two groups of people. One group consumer a "typical Western diet" that averaged 2,445 calories per day, with 31 percent of the calories derived from fat. A similar group at a "nutritionally balanced" diet that averaged 1,671 calories per day, with approximately 28 percent of the calories derived from fat. People who consumed the reduced-calorie diet had significantly lower levels of certain inflammation markers in the blood. In addition, their hearts appeared to show greater elasticity and less stiffness than patients who consumed the Western diet.

The point of this study? Eating less alone won't reduce your risk of certain heart problems; you also need to make sure the food you eat is high in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Doctors of chiropractic are well-versed in nutrition, and can provide you with a wealth of information on choosing a diet that is low in calories, yet extremely nutritious. For more information, visit


Meyer TE, Kovacs SJ, Ehsani AA, et al. Long-term caloric restriction ameliorates the decline in diastolic function in humans. Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2006;47(2):398-402.