It’s great to see a study that supports what common sense dictates: the simplest way to improve how you eat is to concentrate on improving diet quality. Easy example: switch from pre-sweetened, packaged instant oatmeal to rolled oats. Then, maybe transition to steel cut oats. You’re still eating oats, but at each transition you shifted to a less processed product. Likewise, if your kid is chowing down on applesauce, your target is fresh apples (NOT apple juice…juice is an utter waste of calories).

Our culture is awash in messages to lose weight. If we all resolve to just eat better, I wager that a lot of people will lose weight in the process, but eating better is its own reward. Do that first. By the way, when risk for heart disease goes down, so, too does the risk for metabolic syndrome and cancer. What’s good for the heart is good for many things.

Improving adherence to diet quality scores over time is associated with significantly lower CVD risk in both the short term and long term.

Source: Changes in Diet Quality Scores and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Among US Men and Women