Vegetarians have a lower risk of heart disease

FoodFacts.com is aware that there are many dedicated vegetarians in our community. We’re also aware of the rise in the recommendation of plant-based diets for heart disease patients. Today, however, we read some very interesting information regarding the risk of heart disease for vegetarians vs. the remainder of the population.

The University of Oxford recently released a new study showing that the risk of hospitalization or death from heart disease is 32% lower for vegetarians than people who eat meat and fish.

It’s the largest cause of death in the developed world. Tens of thousands die from heart disease each year. And the results of this newest study suggest that a vegetarian diet could significantly reduce the risk of developing coronary disease.

This is the largest study conducted in the United Kingdom that looked at rates of heart disease between vegetarians and non-vegetarians. It involved almost 45,000 participants from England and Scotland who were enrolled in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. 34% of the participants were vegetarians.

The results of the study are very clear. The risk of heart disease for vegetarians is about one third lower than for non-vegetarians. The researchers conducting the study accounted for influencing factors like age, alcohol consumption, exercise, smoking, and education.

Participants completed questionnaires regarding their health and lifestyle when they joined. Detailed questions on diet and exercise as well as other factors affecting health such as smoking and alcohol consumption were included. Almost 20,000 participants also had their blood pressures recorded, and gave blood samples for cholesterol testing.
The volunteers were followed until 2009. During that time, 1235 of the participants were diagnosed with heart disease. 169 participants died and another 1066 were hospitalized.
The vegetarians participating in the study had lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels than the non-vegetarians. Researchers attribute this to be the primary reason for their decreased risk of heart disease. They also had lower body mass indices (BMI) and less instances of diabetes.

The study’s results confirm the concept that diet is key to the prevention of heart disease and expands on prior studies that have focused on the influence of vegetarian diets on our health.

FoodFacts.com knows that the vegetarians in our community will be happy to learn that their chosen lifestyle is likely to hold great health benefits. We also encourage the remainder of our community to remain committed to maintaining a diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, fruits and lean protein sources. Every day we are learning more and more about how the foods we eat influence our health and longevity. Eat well. Stay well.

Read more: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130121637.htm