The results of a diet study show that bad cholesterol was reduced by 33%, blood lipids by 14%, blood pressure by 8% and a risk marker for blood clots by 26%.
A marker of inflammation in the body was also greatly reduced, while memory and cognitive function were improved.
"The results have exceeded our expectations. I would like to claim that there has been no previous study with similar effects on healthy subjects," says Inger Bjorck, professor of food-related nutrition at Lund University and head of the University’s Antidiabetic Food Centre.
Some 44 healthy, overweight people between the ages of 50-75 took part in the diet study.
For four weeks they ate foods, which are presumed to reduce low-grade inflammation in the body, a condition which in turn triggers metabolic syndrome and thus obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The test diet was high in antioxidants, low-GI foods (i.e. slow release carbohydrates), omega fatty acids, wholegrain products, probiotics and viscous dietary fiber.
Examples of foods eaten were oily fish, barley, soy protein, blueberries, almonds, cinnamon, vinegar and a certain type of wholegrain bread.
Some of the products in the food portfolio are not yet available in the shops, but were developed specifically for the study.
From the September 28, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.