US study finds plant-based diet is better for heart health

August 12, 2019

A diet consisting of more vegetables and less meat has been associated with better heart health and a lower risk of dying from a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular complications, according to an observational study by the American Heart Association (AHA).

For about 10,000 middle-aged Americans, who were observed for almost 30 years, a plant-based diet was seen to have compound heart health benefits, including a 16% lower risk of having a cardiovascular disease;a 32% lower risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease: and a 25% lower risk of dying from any cause compared to those with a mostly animal-based diet.

Casey Rebholz, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, US, said that the findings underscore the importance of a good diet – to reduce cardiovascular disease risk more vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fruits, and fewer animal-based foods should be consumed.

While the study is the first to examine the proportion of plant-based against animal-based dietary patterns in the general population, as previous studies only looked at the diets of specific populations of vegetarians, Rebholz opines that future research should further examine the quality of plant foods – healthy versus less healthy – on cardiovascular disease and death risks.

Similarly, Mariell Jessup, the AHA’s chief science and medical officer, recommends eating a mostly plant-based diet, provided the choices are rich in nutrition and low in added sugars, salt, cholesterol, and saturated/trans fats.

“For example, French fries or cauliflower pizza with cheese are plant-based but are low in nutritional value and are loaded with salt – fresh fruit, vegetables and grains are better,” said Jessup.


Category: Education, Features

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