This is probably not very shocking news to most vegetarians, but a new study released this week shows that vegetarians are over 30% less likely to have heart disease. It’s been all over the Washington Post, the news channels and several medical sites and I got an article
about it in my inbox from Bloomberg.com as well.
The article, “Vegetarian Diet Cuts Heart Risk By 32%“, has some interesting tidbits from the study, even for those of us who already knew a vegetarian diet was good for our hearts.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition, followed nearly 45,000 adults, 1/3 of them vegetarians, for an average of 11 1/2 years and allowed for things such as age and whether the participants smoked, drank alcohol or exercised.
Probably most of the difference is accounted for by the fact that the vegetarians had lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure,” Francesca Crowe, one of the authors of the study and a nutritional epidemiologist at Oxford, said in a telephone interview. “Diet is an important determinant of heart disease.”
Since heart disease is still the number one cause of death in this country, this study should make many people consider the vegetarian diet even if they never have before.
We switched to a vegetarian diet because of my husband’s health problems and it was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made for either one of us. I don’t wish fear on anyone, but fear of health issues can be a great motivator.
There was another study done recently, too, that came to the same conclusion as this one.
Another study of more than 31,000 people who had been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease or diabetes, published in the journal Circulation in December, found that those who ate a diet that favored fish, vegetables, fruit, beans and nuts over meats and eggs were 35 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease.”
You may recall me mentioning Dr. Michael Greger of NutritionFacts.org a few weeks ago. According to the data he presented, just eating fish or eggs once a week greatly increased heart risk beyond that of a strictly vegetarian diet.
If you know someone who is worried about their high risk for heart disease, pass this article on to them. It may help them to make a great decision they wouldn’t otherwise make.