Just three weeks of healthy eating and daily moderate exercise can significantly reduce a man’s risk of heart disease by lowering both blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles put 11 obese men on a three-week health kick consisting of a very-low-fat, high-fiber diet and daily 45- to 60-minute walks on a treadmill.
At the end of three weeks, participants hadn't lost a significant amount of weight, but the seven men who previously had high blood pressure now had normal blood pressure, and the entire group reduced their cholesterol levels by an average of 19 percent.
Insulin levels dropped 46 percent and free radicals by 28 percent, both of which are associated with heart disease.
''This is the first study to show that this type of diet and exercise can reduce oxidative stress, lower blood pressure and improve risk factors for other chronic diseases in a very short time,'' wrote lead researcher R. James Barnard.
Source: Circulation, 2002; 106: 2530-253
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