Food as Medicine for Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Events Following an Acute Coronary Syndrome

  • Vijayapraveena Paruchuri
  • Juan Gaztanaga
  • Vikash Rambhujun
  • Robin Smith
  • Michael E. Farkouh


Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in men and women in the USA. Once a patient experiences an acute coronary syndrome (ACS), they are at increased risk for hospital readmission within 30 days and 6 months after discharge and more importantly, they have worse survival. Hospital readmissions lead to poor clinical outcomes for the patient and also significantly increase healthcare costs due to repeat diagnostic evaluation, imaging, and coronary interventions. The goal after hospital discharge is to modify cardiovascular (CV) risk factors including hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes to prevent repeat coronary events; however, drug therapy is only one aspect. Several diets have been shown to decrease weight and reduce these risk factors over short durations; however, most people typically cannot sustain their diet and regain the weight. The Intelligent Quisine (IQ) diet is a prepared meal plan that was designed to meet the American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association nutritional guidelines and simplify the daily consumption of a nutritionally complete, calorie conscious meal. The IQ diet has been shown to significantly reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels, glucose levels, and weight over a 10-week period. Additional studies have shown that patients are able to remain compliant on the diet for a year and maintain the reduction of their CV risk factors. If patients are consistent with a healthy calorie conscious and nutritionally complete diet modifying CV risk factors long term, then food could be as powerful in reducing CV events as evidence-based drug therapy. There is a need to begin conceptualizing food as medicine. To this end, it is time for a randomized control trial implementing the IQ diet versus current standard dietary recommendations in a large number of patients and measuring hard CV endpoints. Many readmissions can be avoided with proper patient education and support emphasizing lifestyle modifications such as eating healthy and smoking cessation on a foundation of optimal medical therapy.


Acute coronary syndrome Hospital readmission Intelligent Quisine 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animal performed by any of the authors and no informed consent was needed.


All authors have read and approved this manuscript. All authors have no disclosures.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NYU Winthrop HospitalMineolaUSA
  2. 2.The Cura FoundationNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and the Heart and Stroke Richard Lewar Centre of ExcellenceUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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