By counting whole-fat dairy as a protective food, the new PURE Healthy Diet score strengthened the relationship between healthy eating and heart disease in a large study.
For individuals with and without cardiovascular disease (CVD), higher intake of protective foods (i.e., PURE diet score ≥5 points out of 6) compared with lower intake (diet score ≤1 point) was associated with lower risks in the PURE cohort spanning five continents with a median follow-up of 9.3 years, reported Andrew Mente, PhD, of the Population Health Research Institute at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and colleagues:
- All-cause mortality: HR 0.70 (95% CI 0.63-0.77)
- CVD: HR 0.82 (95% CI 0.75-0.91)
- Myocardial infarction: HR 0.86 (95% CI 0.75-0.99)
- Stroke: HR 0.81 (95% CI 0.71-0.93)
Unlike previous diet scores, the PURE Healthy Diet score does not penalize eating red meat. With a maximum score of 6, the PURE score simply awards one point each for