- Reviewed by Christopher P. Cannon, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Heart Letter; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing
The portfolio diet, which emphasizes plant foods rich in fiber and healthy fats, was conceived some 20 years ago. Since then, many studies have documented the diet's ability to lower harmful LDL cholesterol. But because none of those trials lasted any longer than six months, the portfolio diet's long-term returns were unknown. Now, new research suggests that the more closely you follow a portfolio-style eating pattern, the greater your protection against heart disease and stroke.
Published Nov. 28, 2023, in Circulation, the study included more than 210,000 people who enrolled in three Harvard-led health studies in the 1980s and 1990s. Using data from diet questionnaires the participants filled out every four years, researchers scored each person's diet based on how well it complied with the portfolio eating pattern. After 30 years of follow-up, researchers compared the scores with the participants' health outcomes. People with higher scores (that is, those who followed the diet most closely) had a 14% lower risk of heart disease compared to those with lower scores.
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About the Author
Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter
About the Reviewer
Christopher P. Cannon, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Heart Letter; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing
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