Dietary patterns are linked to heart disease risk factors. MASALA participants consume one of three major dietary patterns:
- A vegetarian diet with fried snacks, sweets and high-fat dairy foods – this diet was linked with lower levels of HDL (good) cholesterol and more insulin resistance (a cause of diabetes);
- A mostly non-vegetarian diet – linked with higher weight, waist size and cholesterol levels;
- A mostly vegetarian diet with fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts was linked with lower blood pressure and metabolic syndrome (large waist circumference, low HDL, high triglycerides, high glucose and high BP).