Despite efforts at prevention, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes remain as major causes of disability and death among men and women during their peak productive years of life. A diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables is recommended for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes; however, fruits and vegetables are diverse food groups, and contain many different bioactive compounds (e.g., flavonoids) that may or may not help to lower disease risk. The purpose of my research is to determine which fruits, vegetables and flavonoid compounds are associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, and whether eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is also beneficial. To do this, I will compare the disease rates between persons with high and low intakes of fruits, vegetables and flavonoids. The findings from my research will contribute to our understanding of fruits and vegetables in relation to cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes risk, and will help to refine public health recommendations for prevention of chronic diseases.
My primary research supervisor is Dr. Majken K. Jensen.