A new preliminary study estimated that about one in seven cardiovascular deaths worldwide may be linked to not eating enough fruit, and one in 12 cardiovascular deaths may be due to not eating enough vegetables.
Conducted by researchers at the Friedman School of Nutrition Sciences and Policies at Tufts University in the United States, the new study analyzed 2010 data collected from 266 surveys.
These surveys included 1,630,069 individuals from 113 of 187 countries, representing 82% of the world's population.
Using the research responses, the researchers estimated the average national consumption of fruits and vegetables in each country.
These data were then combined with data from each country on the causes of death and cardiovascular risk associated with a low intake of fruits and vegetables.
The optimal consumption of fruits was defined as 300 grams per day, equivalent to about two small apples.
The ideal vegetable intake, which also included legumes, was set at 400g per day, equivalent to about three cups of raw carrots.
The findings, presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition, held June 8-11, 2019, suggested that low fruit intake may be related to nearly 1.3 million stroke deaths and more than 520,000 deaths coronary heart disease worldwide. in 2010.
Meanwhile, low vegetable intake was linked to 200,000 deaths from stroke and more than 800,000 deaths from coronary heart disease.
Countries where low fruit and vegetable intake appears to have the greatest impact were in South Asia, East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, which had low fruit intakes and high rates of stroke deaths.
Meanwhile, the countries of Central Asia and Oceania had low vegetable intakes and high rates of associated coronary disease.
In the US, the team estimated that not eating enough vegetables could contribute to 82,000 cardiovascular deaths, while low fruit intake could account for 57,000 deaths.
The low intake of fruits and vegetables also appears to have the greatest effect on cardiovascular disease deaths among young adults and men, which, according to the team, may be due to the fact that women tend to eat more fruits and vegetables.
"Fruits and vegetables are a modifiable component of diet that can affect avoidable deaths globally," said lead author Victoria Miller.
"Our findings indicate the need for population-based efforts to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables around the world." – AFP Relaxnews