Switching to plant-based diet improves heart health: Study
Plant-based diets lead to lower blood levels of cholesterol and fats, according to a major new analysis of all evidence from clinical trials published since 1982.
Compared to people eating an omnivorous diet, those following a plant-based diet experienced an average reduction in total cholesterol levels of 7% from levels measured at the start of the studies, a 10% reduction in “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, and a 14% reduction in apoliprotein B, a blood protein used to estimate cholesterol level, the analysis found.
Those results showed that plant-based diets can play a significant role in reducing blocked arteries, thereby lowering the risk of stroke and heart attacks, researchers concluded in the review published May 24 in the European Heart Journal.
“If people start eating vegetarian or vegan diets from an early age, the potential for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease caused by blocked arteries is substantial,” said researcher Dr. Ruth Frikke-Schmidt, chief physician at the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark.
“Importantly, we found similar results across continents, ages, different ranges of body mass index, and among people in different states of health,” Frikke-Schmidt said in a journal news release.
Vegetarian and vegan diets benefitted people ranging from normal weight to obese, researchers found.
More 18 million people die from heart disease each year around the globe, making it the world’s leading cause of death, researchers noted.
Source: HealthDay News