Cardiovascular death rates seem to increase due to a low fruit and vegetable consumption. Indeed, new preliminary research has estimated that about one in seven deaths from cardiovascular disease worldwide may be due to too low fruit consumption, and that one in twelve deaths from the same causes may be due to a lack of intakes in vegetables.
This study conducted at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University took into account data collected in 2010 from 266 surveys totaling more than 1,630,000 people in 113 countries, representing 82% of the world’s population.
From the results of the surveys, the researchers estimated the average national fruit and vegetable intake for each country, then combined these data with those of each country for the causes of mortality and the cardiovascular risk associated with a limited intake of fruit and vegetables.
The optimal fruit intake is estimated according to them at 300 grams per day, the equivalent of two small apples, and the optimal daily intake of vegetables (and legumes) would be 400 grams.
Their results, presented at Nutrition 2019, the annual conference of the American Society for Nutrition (June 8-11), show that low fruit intake could be linked to nearly 1.3 million deaths from a heart attack and more than 520,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease worldwide in 2010. They also point out that too little vegetable intake was linked to 200,000 deaths resulting from a heart attack and more than 800,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease.
The strongest impact of this phenomenon is present in the countries of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa which recorded a low consumption of fruits as well as associated high rates of attacks, but also in Central Asia and Oceania where they have noted low vegetable consumption and associated high rates of heart disease.
In the United States, scientists have estimated that too little vegetable consumption could contribute to 82,000 cardiovascular deaths while not eating enough vegetables could be a problem with 57,000 deaths.
These low consumption levels also seemed to have a greater effect on deaths from cardiovascular disease in young adults, especially men, probably because women would tend to consume more fruits and vegetables as noted by the scientists.
“Fruits and vegetables are changeable components of the diet that can affect preventable death rates around the world,” said lead researcher Victoria Miller. “Our results point to the need for people’s efforts to increase fruit and vegetable consumption around the world.”