Characteristics of the Diet Patterns Tested in the Optimal Macronutrient Intake Trial to Prevent Heart Disease (OmniHeart): Options for a Heart-Healthy Diet

Janis F. Swain, Phyllis B. McCarron, Eileen F. Hamilton, Frank M. Sacks, Lawrence Appel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: To describe the nutrient and food composition of the diets tested in the Optimal Macronutrient Intake Trial to Prevent Heart Disease (OmniHeart). Design: Two center, randomized, three-period crossover, controlled feeding trial that tested the effects of three healthful diet patterns on blood pressure, serum lipid levels, and estimated cardiovascular risk. Subjects/setting: One hundred sixty-four participants with prehypertension and hypertension. During the 19 weeks of feeding, participants were required to consume only food prepared as part of the trial. Intervention: The OmniHeart trial studied three diet patterns that differed in macronutrient composition: a carbohydrate-rich diet similar to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet (58% carbohydrate, 15% protein, and 27% fat), a higher protein diet that had 10% more protein and 10% less carbohydrate (48% carbohydrate, 25% protein, and 27% fat), and a higher unsaturated fat diet that had 10% more unsaturated fat and 10% less carbohydrate (48% carbohydrate, 15% protein, and 37% fat). Each diet contained 6% saturated fat and 100 to 200 mg cholesterol. Sodium was 2,300 mg at the 2,100 kcal energy level and was indexed across energy levels. Calcium, magnesium, and potassium were consistent with recommendations for the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet and also indexed to energy levels. Each diet pattern met the major nutrient recommendations set by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005. The 10% protein increase in the higher protein diet emphasized plant protein; however, meat and dairy food sources were also increased somewhat. Olive oil, canola oil, and olive oil spread were used liberally to achieve the unsaturated fat content of the higher unsaturated fat diet. The 10% reduction in carbohydrate in the higher protein diet and the higher unsaturated fat diet was achieved by replacing some fruits with vegetables, reducing sweets, and using smaller portions of grain products. All three diets reduced blood pressure, total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and estimated coronary heart disease risk. Conclusions: The OmniHeart diet patterns offer substantial flexibility in macronutrient intake that should make it easier to eat a heart-healthy diet and reduce cardiovascular disease risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-265
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Medicine(all)

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