New research suggests that eating a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains could be as good for your heart as walking 4,000 extra steps a day. The study was published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. It aimed to explore the impact that consuming these foods had on physical health.
Participants in the study completed a Harvard semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire so that their dietary habits could be assessed. They also completed a high-intensity fitness assessment, which involved having their oxygen consumption measured while they rode an exercise bike.
“This study provides some of the strongest and most rigorous data thus far to support the connection that better diets may lead to higher fitness,” said study author Michael Mi of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in a statement. “The improvement in fitness we observed in participants with better diets was similar to the effect of taking 4,000 more steps each day.”