Plant-Based Diets May Reduce The Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases By 32%

Different kinds of diets exist, and some are designed to benefit people, especially those who are at high risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. One such diet is the plant-based diet. A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association noted that eating more vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, and fewer animal products can reduce the risk for severe cardiovascular diseases, particularly heart attacks. Lead author of the study Dr. Casey M. Rebholz from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore noted that eating more plant-based foods can have benefits to having a healthy heart and more.

Plant-Based Diets and Heart Health

The study involved 12,168 middle-age individuals enrolled in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study from 1987 to 2016. Those who have higher intakes of plant-based foods have better cardiovascular scores compared to those who consume more meat. The findings of the study also revealed that those who consume more plant-based whole foods are 16% less likely to suffer not only from a heart attack but also from a stroke.

You Don’t Need to Give Up on Animal Products

While consuming plant-based diets can help improve cardiovascular health, you don’t have to give up on animal products altogether. You can consume a smaller portion of animal-based food products on an occasional basis to enjoy the benefits of having good cardiovascular health. Reducing the number of animal-based products consumed can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular death by as much as 25% and improve the cardiovascular condition of people who are highly at risk of cardiovascular diseases by 32%.

Plant-Based Foods Provide More Nutrition

According to Chief Science Officer of the American Heart Association, Dr. Mariell Jessup, eating mostly plant-based foods provides more nutrition to the body. Vegetables and fruits, for instance, are rich in nutrients and are low in sugar, sodium, and cholesterol. Moreover, they don’t contain any saturated fat or trans-fat that may clog arteries easily.

Not All Plant-Based Foods Are Healthy

While plant-based foods are generally healthy, it is essential to take note that not all plant-based food is healthy. For instance, French fries or cauliflower pizza loaded with cheese is made from vegetables, but they are low in nutritional value. Moreover, they also contain high amounts of salt. When it comes to choosing the right plant-based foods, it is always ideal to go for unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, and grains.

Is Plant-Based Fool-Proof?

Given that there are so many studies involving the benefits of plant-based food on cardiovascular health, is the plant-based food fool-proof? The lead researcher of the study pointed out that previous studies focused on the benefit of plant-based food in a smaller population, particularly vegetarians.  However, the limitation of the study was that it was conducted decades ago; thus, the results of the study may no longer reflect the food industry today. Studies like this should be replicated to reflect the modern food industry.

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