Vegetarian Diets Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease

vegetarianA recently announced study has given credence to the claim, for years made by vegetarians, that a diet devoid of meat significantly lowers the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.  The research supports the theory that vegetarians who consume meat less than once a month, experience a 36% drop in the metabolic syndrome.  To explain, the metabolic syndrome is collection or grouping of risk factors for developing cardiovascular diseases.  These findings indicate that lifestyle factors play a large role in prevention of diseases.

Leading researchers who studied the results are quite surprised at the findings, not expecting to find such a striking difference between meat eaters and vegetarians.  Tests were completed for five risk factors including high blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose and waist circumference.  Adjusting for different aspects within these tests, the herbivore diet showed the same results when factoring in smoking, alcohol usage, and the age and the amount of physical activity of each participant.

Concurring studies back up the research supporting trends toward plant-based diets. In 2008 a German cancer study found that the risks of premature deaths among vegetarians were reduced by 30% for woman and up to 50% for men.

Another study previously published this year found similar results stating that meat eaters had noticeable higher cardiovascular risk factors than those who followed a vegetarian diet.  Also revealed in this study was the fact that true vegans, who eliminate all animal products, may have an increased risk of blood clots and hardening of the arteries, both of which can lead to heart attack and stroke.

The objective of the vegan study was to compare patterns in the diets with risk factors.  It also noted that a strict vegan diet showed clear trends among the test cases, the most significant being a lack of key nutritional needs in the overall diet.  Iron, Zinc, Vitamin B12 and omega 3 fatty acids are proven to lower the risk of heart related disease yet were some of the nutrients that found lacking in many of the vegans diets.

To ensure the overall health benefits of a plant based diet, a vegan diet needs a well-rounded diet that includes food items that contain omega 3 fatty acids and other nutritionally rich foods.  Achieving proper nutrition is necessary in every diet and all of our nutritional needs can be met by the foods we eat.

 

References:

Low body mass index in non-meat eaters