Improve heart health with vegetarian diet

  • Improve heart health with vegetarian diet

Improve heart health with vegetarian diet

Eating more plant-based foods and fewer animal-based foods may be linked to better heart health and a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases, a new study suggests.

Eating more plant foods and less of animal foods was tied to a lower risk of heart disease and deaths even with an unhealthy plant-based diet, but the benefit wasn't as pronounced as it was for healthier vegetarian and plant-based diets.

"Animal foods include meat, eggs, dairy, and fish or seafood", she said.

The researchers tracked each person's diet over the course of the study and broke down the percentage of animal-based products versus plant-based products that they consumed.

The researchers then categorised the participants' eating patterns by the proportion of plant-based foods they ate versus animal-based foods.

To see how plant-based foods can improve consumers' heart health, the researchers monitored over 10,000 participants between 1987 through 2016, none of which had any kind of heart disease at the start of the study.

A diet rich in plant-based foods translated into fewer heart problems in a new study.

In addition, the study found that these participants had a 25-percent lower risk of dying for any cause when compared to the participants who consumed the lowest quantities of plant-based food products.

Future research on plant-based diets should examine whether the quality of plant foods - healthy versus less healthy - affects heart disease and death risks, Rebholz added.

Cardiovascular diseases, disorders of the heart and blood vessels such as heart disease, are the No. 1 cause of death globally, according to the World Health Organization.

"They strongly suggest that in a general USA population who don't necessarily identify as vegetarian, the higher the proportion of plant foods in the diet, the lower the risk of cardiovascular events and death from any cause", McMacken said, adding that plant-based diets can promote heart health by multiple mechanisms.

Casey M. Rebholz added, "Our findings underscore the importance of focusing on your diet".

"First, they are higher in beneficial nutrients such as fiber, plant fats, potassium, and antioxidants, and lower in potentially harmful nutrients such as animal-based iron, animal fats and nitrite preservatives", she said.

"For example, French fries or cauliflower pizza with cheese are plant based but are low in nutritional value and are loaded with sodium (salt)".

People who followed one of the three healthier diets in the study consumed an average of 4.1 to 4.8 servings of fruits and vegetables and less than one serving of red or processed meat a day.