Deakin University researchers have shown for the first-time diet can trump genetics in relation to cardiac health.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in Australia.
“Typically, we know that eating well is good for our health, but the link between our diet and our genetic pre-disposition to heart disease has been less clear,” lead researcher Dr Katherine Livingstone said.
The study of 77,000 adults in the UK, aged 40 to 69 tracked their diet and genetic heart risk over eight years.
The research found eating a Mediterranean diet could reverse the genetic risk of heart disease and reduce the risk of heart attack.
The Heart Foundation’s Chief Medical Advisor, Professor Garry Jennings supports the latest research.
“What it suggests is everybody can get benefit from a healthy lifestyle, in this case a healthy diet. It doesn’t matter what your family history is.” Professor Jennings told 9News.
“This suggests that genes and lifestyle are independent, that both of them are important and don’t hang your hat on just one.
“This will change things in terms of our understanding of risk and how we find who is at risk and who is not.”