It may not sound surprising. Still, a US study has indicated that individuals who consume a healthy plant-based diet have a lower likelihood of developing and dying from heart-related problems.

The Study Background

Over three decades, researchers have followed 12,168 middle-aged adults and evaluated their food preferences and eating habits at various points of the study. Through the length of the study, there were a total of 5,436 contributors who died, and out of these numbers, it was shown that 1,565 of them did due to a cardiovascular problem.

As a background, the participants of the study were between the ages of 45 and 64 years old. During the beginning of the study, these participants did not have any heart problems. Further, the study also segregated the participants’ plant-based diet into four classes. One, the diet that was more unhealthy and starchy plants like processed foods and potatoes. Two, an entirely vegetarian diet. Three, a plant diet based more on green vegetables. And the fourth, an overall plant-based diet but not strictly vegetarian.

It was seen that people who adhered to diets 2 through 4 consumed less than a serving of processed food or red meat a day with an average of 4.1 to 4.8 servings of vegetables and fruits. While those on the first diet usually had 1.2 servings of processed or red meat daily with an average of 2.3 servings of fruits and veggies.

It is noted, though, that the study’s limitation is that the research relied on the participant’s capability of accurately recalling and reporting what they ate.

Key Intake from the Study Results

  • It was seen that throughout the study that those who embraced and carefully adhered to a plant-based diet were physically active, high school graduates, white, and women. And it was also seen that those who adopted the plant-based diet were less likely to suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, or obesity. Almost all of them were non-smokers.
  • Vegetarians and those participants who incorporated more plant-based and healthy food options in their diet had a 16% lower risk of getting diagnosed with a cardiovascular problem in succeeding follow-ups.
  • On the other hand, individuals who did not eat a lot of plant-based food in their diet increased their chance by 16% of getting non-fatal strokes or heart attacks and even developing heart failure in comparison to those individuals who ate more plant-based food.
  • What’s alarming is that the study showed a diet rich in refined carbs, and animal products have a higher chance of dying from heart disease. This chance is indexed at a 32% rate while the chances of dying—from any cause—during the study were pegged between 18 to 25 percent.

A Healthy Plant-Based Diet Can Make a Difference

As the study provides more evidence pointing to plant-based food being good for your heart health, everybody is urged to add more whole grains, vegetables, and fruits in their diet while lessening the consumption of processed and red meat.

Inspired by www.reuters.com