Rx Nutrition Resource Center

Rx Nutrition Resource Center

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
June 23, 2021
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Consistent fruit, vegetable consumption confers lower risks for CVD, all-cause mortality

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
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Snacking on fruit after breakfast, fruit during lunch, vegetables during dinner and dairy after dinner was associated with lower risks for CVD and all-cause mortality, according to new dietary data.

“Compared with examining a single food, an examination of dietary pattern parallel more closely resembles the real world, in which nutrients and foods are consumers in combination and their joint effects may best be investigated by considering the entire eating pattern,” Wei Wei, PhD, professor in the department of nutrition and food hygiene at the National Key Discipline School of Public Health at Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China, and colleagues wrote in the Journal of the American Heart Association. “Analyzing consumption time of dietary patterns across meals may therefore provide a comprehensive understanding of the health impact of chrono-nutrition.”

Snacking on fruit after breakfast, fruit during lunch, vegetables during dinner and dairy after dinner was associated with lower risks for CVD and all-cause mortality. Data were derived from Wei W, et al. J Am Heart Assoc. 2021;doi:10.1161/JAHA.120.020254.

Researchers measured meal and snack patterns during a whole day from 21,503 noninstitutionalized household participants (51% women) from the National Health and Nutrition Examination survey. Dietary patterns were measured using 24-hour dietary recall and researchers evaluated associations between dietary patterns and death from CVD, cancer and any cause.

There were 2,192 deaths during the 149,875 person years of follow-up, including 676 deaths due to CVD and 476 due to cancer.

Participants who consumed a fruit-based lunch had lower mortality risks for CVD (HR = 0.66; 95% CI, 0.49-0.87) and any cause (HR = 0.82; 95% CI, 0.72-0.92), while participants who consumed Western lunches that typically contain refined grains, cheese and cured meat had elevated risk for CVD mortality (HR = 1.44; 95% CI, 1.1-1.89). In addition, participants who consumed a vegetable-based dinner had lower risks for CVD (HR = 0.77; 95% CI, 0.61-0.95), all-cause (HR = 0.69; 95% CI, 0.6-0.78) and cancer (HR = 0.63; 95% CI, 0.48-0.83) mortality.

For snacking, researchers observed lower risks for cancer (HR = 0.55; 95% CI, 0.39-0.78) and all-cause (HR = 0.78; 95% CI, 0.66-0.93) mortality among participants who consumed a fruit-based snack after breakfast and lower risks for CVD (HR = 0.67; 95% CI, 0.52-0.87) and all-cause (HR = 0.82; 95% CI, 0.72-0.94) mortality among participants who consumed a dairy-based snack after dinner.

In contrast, there were higher mortality risks among participants who consumed starchy stacks after breakfast (HR for CVD mortality = 1.55; 95% CI, 1.08-2.24; HR for all-cause mortality = 1.5; 95% CI, 1.24-1.82), lunch (HR for CVD mortality = 1.44; 95% CI, 1.03-2.02; HR for all-cause mortality = 1.52; 95% CI, 1.27-1.81) or dinner (HR for CVD mortality = 1.57; 95% CI, 1.1-2.23; HR for all-cause mortality = 1.5; 95% CI, 1.25-1.8).

According to the researchers, nutritional guidelines and intervention strategies should integrate and highlight the importance of specific food consumption times during the day.

“Based on the findings in this study, the optimal consumption time for fruit was likely in the daytime and the optimal consumption time for vegetables was at dinner. The dairy products could be consumed as a snack after dinner,” the researchers wrote. “This information is of importance in providing nutritional recommendations for the public.”