(Tim Newman) A new review concludes that plant based diets reduce risk of death from heart disease by 40 percent.
And you don’t have to be ‘strictly vegetarian’ to reap the benefits.
In the past few decades, numerous studies have demonstrated that restricting meat impacts the body in a number of positive ways.
For instance, a plant-based diet has been shown to reduce the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
Vegetarianism and veganism may even protect against certain cancers.
A recent review, now published in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Disease, focused on the benefits of a plant-based diet on cardiovascular health, specifically.
Plant-based diets and heart health
The researchers — from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington D.C. — scrutinized reams of recent, relevant studies.
Collating information from a host of clinical trials and observational studies, they found that a plant-based diet was consistently linked with improved measures of heart health.
They concluded, for individuals following a plant-based diet, that:
- Risk of death from cardiovascular disease is reduced by 40 percent.
- Blocked arteries are unblocked partially or fully in as many as 91 percent of patients.
- Hypertension risk drops by 34 percent.
Also, total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein, or “bad,” cholesterol levels are much lower in vegetarians compared with non-vegetarians.
Moreover, a plant-based diet was shown to be associated with weight loss.
“A plant-based diet has the power to not only prevent heart disease but also manage and sometimes even reverse it — something no drug has ever done.”
Study author Dr. Hana Kahleova, Ph.D. also notes that more healthful diets and lifestyles lower the risk of heart attack by 81–94 percent, while drugs can only lower this risk by 20–30 percent.
You don’t have to be ‘strictly vegetarian’ to reap the benefits
Even following a vegetarian diet loosely protects against obesity in middle-aged and older adults.
As Dr. Kahleova notes, “Heart disease is the world’s leading cause of death. This study proves it doesn’t have to be.” Read the full story at Medical News Today.