Plain language summary
Coronary heart disease (CHD) remains the leading cause of mortality in developed countries and is rapidly becoming a dominant cause of all deaths worldwide. The most important modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease is diet. A diet which includes non-hydrogenated unsaturated fats as the predominant form of dietary fat, whole grains as the main form of carbohydrates, an abundance of fruits and vegetables and adequate omega-3 fatty acids, can offer significant protection against CHD. The primary aim of the study was to estimate a diet's antioxidant capacity and assess the hierarchy of contribution of particular food products to a Dietary Antioxidant Index (DAI). The study included 143 men and women aged 65-80 who were independent and without any physical or mental disability. On average, the DAI of study participants was low, with fruit having the largest contribution. In comparison to results obtained in a previous report by the same authors, the study showed that the participants consumed too little antioxidant food, as well as grains and cereal-based products, fresh herbs and beverages. This study recommends that the elderly population should be advised to consume a well-balanced diet rich in antioxidants originating from fresh fruit, vegetables and wholegrains to reduce the risk of CHD.
INTRODUCTION Some literature data indicate that the proper intake of exogenic antioxidants from food and the proper intake of fats can offer significant protection against coronary heart disease. OBJECTIVES The estimation of total antioxidant capacity of food intake on the basis of Dietary Antioxidant Index (DAI), together with an assessment of the contribution of particular food products in DAI, and the evaluation of consumption of all dietary fats and frequency of consumption of products that are a source of fats among elderly people in Krakow, Poland. MATERIAL AND METHODS 143 persons (73 women and 70 men) aged 65-80 were studied. None of them was under specialist medical control, including cardiological control. DAI was investigated on the basis of the Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) which included 145 food items. DAI was measured using the method by Benzi and expressed as FRAP (the ability to reduce Fe3+ to Fe2+, measured in mMol/l). The daily intake of fats was estimated using the 24-h nutritional recall. The frequency of fats consumption was estimated with the usage of FFQ. For statistical analysis, χ2 test was used. RESULTS The mean value of DAI of all studied persons was 34.27 + 11.72 mMol/l. The largest percentage of those studied had FRAP values in the range 25-35 mMol/l. The highest contribution in the total DAI value was found in fruit (36.2%), grains and cereal-based products (23.6%), and beverages (24.0%). The consumption of vegetables was on the fourth position (7.1%). The contribution of the remaining food products was low. The consumption of total fats (about 70g/24h) and saturated fatty acids (14% of energetic value) exceeded the recommendations. The participation of mono-and polyunsaturated fatty acids in the diets was not in accordance with recommendations. The most frequently consumed fats were animal fats (sausages, butter) and cakes, but the consumption of vegetable oils, fish, nuts and seeds of oil plants was too low. CONCLUSIONS The majority of elderly people made mistakes in their nutrition. The enrichment in natural antioxidants of the diets of elderly people and the normalization of their fats consumption should become an important element of primary and secondary prophylaxis of cardiovascular diseases.