Nutritionally Complete Prepared Meal Plan to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk Factors
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OBJECTIVE: To compare a nutritionally complete prepared meal plan that meets national dietary guidelines to usual-care dietary therapy for hypertension, dyslipidemia, and glycemic control. DESIGN: Randomized, controlled trial. SUBJECTS/SETTING: Outpatients with hypertension, dyslipidemia, or diabetes mellitus (n = 251) were recruited at 6 medical centers in the United States and Canada. INTERVENTION: The prepared meal plan, which was developed by university-based nutrition and cardiovascular scientists and food technologists at Campbell's Center for Nutrition & Wellness (CCNW), provided the optimal levels of macronutrients and micronutrients recommended for cardiovascular risk reduction in a variety of prepackaged meals and snacks. After a 4-week pretrial period to assess baseline state, participants were randomized to the CCNW plan or "usual-care" diet for 10 weeks. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Blood pressure, carbohydrate metabolism, lipoproteins, homocysteine, weight, nutrient intake, compliance. STATISTICAL ANALYSES PERFORMED: Repeated measures analysis of variance. RESULTS: Lipoproteins, carbohydrate metabolism, blood pressure, and weight improved on both plans. Mean differences (+/- standard deviation) between baseline and follow-up for the CCNW plan and the usual-care plan, respectively, were total cholesterol, -0.41 +/- 0.64 and -0.20 +/- 0.50 mmol/L (between-group P < .01); plasma glucose, -0.7 +/- 1.7 and -0.3 +/- 1.3 mmol/L (P < .05); systolic blood pressure, -5.2 +/- 10.0 and -4.7 +/- 9.0 mm Hg (P = .67), diastolic blood pressure, -3.8 +/- 5.9 and -2.2 +/- 5.5 mm Hg (P < .05); and homocysteine, -1.3 +/- 3.8 and 0.2 +/- 3.4 mumol/L (P < .01). The CCNW plan led to greater weight loss than the usual-care diet (-5.5 +/- 3.8 kg vs -3.0 +/- 3.2 kg, P < .0001). APPLICATIONS/CONCLUSION: The nutritionally complete CCNW plan offers greater improvements in lipids, blood sugars, homocysteine, and weight loss than usual-care diet therapy. This prepackaged comprehensive nutrition program can augment both the prescription and practice of optimal dietary therapy.
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