A new study suggests eating a Southern-style diet can increase a person’s risk for heart disease.
The new findings, published Monday in the journal Circulation, show that people who regularly consume a diet that’s filled with traditionally Southern fare were at a greater risk of experiencing a heart-related event like a heart attack or heart-related death within around six years of follow-up. In fact, people who ate a lot of Southern cuisine had a 56% greater risk for heart disease compared to people who ate less.
The researchers analyzed data from a longitudinal study of 17,418 people in their 40s between 2003 to 2007. Given the nature of the study, the researchers cannot determine with certainty that a Southern diet alone was responsible for the increased risk of heart-related issues. However, earlier research has shown that processed meat, fried food and sweetened beverages are associated with greater risks of cardiovascular disease.
For those who have no intention of giving up their favorite Southern cuisine staples, we’ve rounded up five “lighter” takes on recipes from our friends at Cooking Light. Bon appétit!