Sign Up Now For
HEALTHbeat
Our FREE E-mail Newsletter

In each issue of HEALTHbeat:

  • Get trusted advice from the doctors at Harvard Medical School
  • Learn tips for living a healthy lifestyle
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest developments in health
  • Receive special offers on health books and reports
  • Plus, receive your FREE Bonus Report, Living to 100: What's the secret?

[ Maybe Later ] [ No Thanks ]

Check out these newly released Special Health Reports from Harvard Medical School
Learn How

New Releases

You can't buy good health but you can buy good health information. Check out these newly released Special Health Reports from Harvard Medical School:

Information about the OmniHeart diets

OCT 2010

Did you know?

You can get instant online access to all of the articles from the October 2010 issue of Harvard Heart Letter for only $5.

Already a subscriber? Login for complete instant access.

If you want a button/link to remove the box (not sure if you do or not...), it would look like this: Cancel

The Optimal Macronutrient Intake Trial for Heart Health (OmniHeart) study compared the effects of three heart-healthy diets, all based on the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet — one emphasized carbohydrates, another emphasized protein, and the third emphasized unsaturated fat. Although all three lowered blood pressure and improved cholesterol and triglyceride levels, the higher-protein and higher-unsaturated-fat diets worked best.

The general plan for all three diets looked like this:

  • Eat 1-2 servings of fruit at every meal and have an extra fruit at breakfast.

  • Have 2-3 servings of vegetables at lunch and dinner.

  • Create a fruit and nut trail mix for snacks: 1/2 cup dried fruit with 1 oz. unsalted nuts.

  • Each day have a serving of fat-free or low-fat milk and milk product (milk, yogurt, cheese) at two meals and occasionally at a third meal or snack.

  • Use whole grains rather than refined grains as often as possible.

  • Select lean versions of meats and remove skin from poultry.

The breakdown of calories and nutrients in the three OmniHeart diets are listed in the table below. You can also download a 7-day menu for the higher-protein diet or for the higher-unsaturated-fat diet.

Food group

Servings per day

Higher carbohydrate diet

Higher protein diet

Higher unsaturated fat diet

Fruit and juices (� cup)

6.6

3.8

4.8

Vegetables (� cup)

4.4

5.4

6.3

Grains, mostly whole grains (1 oz or � cup)

5.3

5.0

4.3

Milk and milk products (1 cup)

2.1

2.5

1.9

Legumes, nuts, seeds, other vegetable protein (1 oz meat-equivalents)

1.3

3.0

1.2

Beef, pork, ham (1 oz)

0.9

1.1

1.0

Poultry (1 oz)

1.6

2.6

1.8

Fish (1 oz)

1.1

1.3

1.0

Egg product substitutes
(1 oz meat-equivalents)

0.2

1.1

0.1

Desserts and sweets (tsp sugar)

4.6

2.5

1.7

Fats and oils (tsp)

6

3.5

12

Nutrient targets

Percent of daily calories

Higher carbohydrate diet

Higher protein diet

Higher unsaturated fat diet

Carbohydrates

58

48

48

Total fat

27

27

37

Monounsaturated fat

13

13

21

Protein

15

25

15