Researchers create lower sodium version of traditional Chinese cuisine

Unhealthy changes in the Chinese diet have been a major factor driving the rise in cardiovascular disease

Blood pressure levels dropped significantly among Chinese adults with high blood pressure who ate a modified heart-healthy, lower sodium traditional Chinese cuisine for four weeks, according to new research published in the American Heart Association’s flagship journal Circulation.

A key feature of the Chinese heart-healthy diet, modeled along the lines of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, was sodium reduction. An unhealthy diet, especially one high in sodium, is a key modifiable risk factor for high blood pressure.

Yangfeng Wu, M.D., Ph.D., professor of epidemiology and sciences in clinical research at Peking University Clinical Research Institute in Beijing, China said, “Healthy Western diets such as DASH and Mediterranean have been developed and proven to help lower blood pressure, however, until now, there has not been a proven heart-healthy diet developed to fit into traditional Chinese cuisine.”

The Chinese heart-healthy diet was developed with catering organisations in those areas and conformed to the four regional cuisines, so that researchers could understand if the effect of the heart-healthy diet would be applicable and sustainable to different Chinese dietary cultures.

As per the study, the effects achieved by the heart-healthy Chinese diet, if sustained, may reduce major cardiovascular disease by 20%; heart failure by 28% and all-cause death by 13%.

image credit- shutterstock

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