It is a well-known fact that cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of preventable death in the United States and Europe, accounting for 30 and 45 percent of deaths respectively. While innumerable studies have been done on the various factors that can contribute to cardiovascular disease, most leading experts will agree that it makes little sense to study them individually. Instead, they say that it is better to investigate certain dietary patterns that can increase or decrease the likelihood of developing one or more cardiovascular diseases.
One such dietary pattern has been identified as Social-Business Eating Pattern. This is, more or less, your standard diet of business people who travel a lot and adopt a certain set of dietary choices due to the surroundings they find themselves in.
A new study done in Spain has discovered that such a diet is bad for your heart.
The study in question was done involving more than 4,000 employees of a bank in Madrid, Spain. They were examined by medical personnel and interviewed by a research team over the course of 6 years. During that time, the researchers were mainly looking to determine how the eating patterns of different groups will affect the state of their arteries. More precisely, the research team wanted to see whether a certain dietary choice will make any of the groups more likely to develop atherosclerosis.
The subjects were middle-aged (between 40 and 54 years of age) and divided into three groups, depending on their dietary habits. About 40 percent of the people who participated adhered to the Mediterranean diet, another 40 percent of them ate the average Western-style diet while about 20 percent of them adhered to the social-business diet.
The social-business diet involved less vegetables and legumes, as well as more meat and especially processed meat. People who adhered to this dietary pattern also ate more pre-cooked meals and chips. In addition to this, they drank more alcohol and sweetened beverages. Finally, the social-business group was more likely to eat out than the two other groups.
After extensive study, it was discovered that the third, newly-established group, the so-called social-business diet group was much more likely to develop atherosclerosis and suffer from cardiovascular disease. For example, they were more likely to have diabetes and high blood pressure. They were also more likely to be overweight.
We should also point out that the 1st group, i.e. the people who adhered to the Mediterranean style diet were much healthier not just than the 3rd (social-business) group, but also the second group, i.e. the Western-style diet people.
Besides this, the study unearthed a few other interesting facts. It discovered that the people who adhere to the social-business diet are far more likely to be smokers than the average Spanish person, with more than 75 percent of them being smokers. They were also found to sleep less and suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. It may be difficult to determine the direction of causality here, but one thing is for sure – this particular way of life is simply unhealthy.
All in all, it can safely be said that this particular way of life and especially of eating is not good for you. If you insist on living such a lifestyle, you need to realize that you increase your chances of suffering from cardiovascular disease.
The good news is that now this is official, it becomes clear that such dietary habits are to be avoided at all costs. This can be a challenge for some people, especially those who travel a lot because of their work, but changes are definitely a must.
For example, if you have to attend a lot of business lunches or dinners, try and have them at restaurants where healthy choices are available. Also, when snacking, try to make snacks healthy instead of sugary. Furthermore, it would also be a good idea to lay off the sugary drinks and to lower your alcohol intake.
According to the study, it would probably be best to switch to the Mediterranean diet altogether, but if you are unable to do that, then at least try to move away from the business-social diet.