Increased risk for acute coronary heart disease (CHD) may now be added to the list of conditions associated with consumption of a “Southern-style” diet of added fats, fried food, eggs, organ and processed meats, and sugar-sweetened beverages, according to a study published online ahead of print August 10 in Circulation. 

Lead author James M. Shikany, DrPH, PA-C, and colleagues studied data on 17,418 Caucasians and African Americans aged 45 years and older. The subjects were assessed based on how much they adhered to one of five dietary patterns: convenience, plant-based, sweets, Southern, alcohol, and salad. Those who most often ate foods conforming to the Southern-style dietary pattern had a 56% higher risk of acute CHD, compared with those who ate it less frequently; no other dietary pattern was associated with risk for acute CHD. 

“For anyone eating a lot of the main components of the Southern dietary pattern, I’d recommend they scale back on their consumption,” said Dr. Shikany.

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