University of Newcastle researchers are helping families with a history of cardiovascular disease to become ‘heart smart’ in a bid to lower their risk factors for heart attack or stroke.

Dietitian, Professor Clare Collins, and PhD candidate Tracy Schumacher, are leading the Love your Food, Love Your Heart, Love Your Family study which is testing ways to help families follow a ‘heart healthy’ diet that is based on the best available research.

Cardiovascular disease affects one in six Australians equating to two out of three families. In addition, heart, stroke or blood vessel disease claims an Australian life every 12 minutes.

“By focusing on families where there is a history of heart disease or stroke, we are hoping to improve heart health in all family members. We are also assessing the effects of a family-based nutrition intervention on reducing risk factors that are affected by dietary intake, such as blood cholesterol,” Ms Schumacher said.

Families in the study are encouraged to support each other as they try to incorporate different foods in their eating patterns. Heart healthy foods are those high in soluble fibre, such as oats, legumes, fruits and vegetables, plant sterol food products like Logicol or ProActiv margarines and Heart Active milk, nuts, soy products and fish. Plant-based foods high in protein such as kidney beans, chickpeas and soy milks and soy yoghurts are also heart friendly.

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Love your food, love your family – Newcastle Herald

WITH one Australian dying every 12 minutes from heart disease, stroke or blood vessel disease, researchers at the University of Newcastle are working to help spread the heart smart message.

The Love Your Food, Love Your Heart, Love Your Family study is testing ways to help families live and eat for a healthier heart under the leadership of dietitian Professor Clare Collins and PhD candidate Tracy Schumacher.

The second phase of the study, which will start in the coming weeks, will focus on helping individuals lower their cardiovascular disease risk through lifestyle changes rather than using medication.

READ the Newcaslte Herald article.