All 41 study participants - 28 females and 13 males - completed three study phases. The phases included a five-week period of consuming a Mediterranean-style eating pattern containing three ounces per day of lean, unprocessed red meat, an amount of red meat the typical United States resident consumes; a five-week return to their regular eating pattern; and a five-week period of consuming a Mediterranean-style eating pattern with less red meat, three ounces twice weekly, which is commonly recommended for heart health. The order of the typical and lower red meat interventions were randomly assigned among participants.
Most of your body's cholesterol is produced by your liver, but blood cholesterol levels can rise if you eat the wrong foods every day. Blood contains both high-density lipoprotein (HDL), referred to as "good cholesterol," and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also called "bad cholesterol." Too much bad cholesterol over time can lead to the build-up of fatty substances in arteries that can cause blockages as part of cardiovascular disease, and in the worst cases, heart attack or stroke.
Regarding cardiovascular care, Zhao believes that advances in imaging technology will have the most significant impact. Our imaging capabilities have improved greatly over the years, from still pictures to moving pictures to 3-D images, but cardiac imaging is making the transition from illustrating anatomy to showing functionality what the heart looks like when its working, he said. This completely changes how we can use images to assess, guide and monitor treatments, and as the technology evolves it will revolutionize how we diagnose, treat and prevent diseases.