January 30, 2013
Veggie Diet Can Lead To Less Heart Disease
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Those vegetarians who are tired of being mocked by carnivores and incessantly asked “but where do you get your protein?” can hold their heads up high today. According to a new study from the University of Oxford, vegetarians are 32 percent less likely to be hospitalized for, or die from, heart disease.
“The diets are quite different. Vegetarians probably have a lower intake of saturated fat so it makes sense there is a lower risk of heart disease." In addition to a lower risk of heart disease, vegetarians in the UK were also found to have lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and even lower Body Mass Indexes (or BMIs.) With a lower BMI, these vegetarians were also found to have a lower risk for diabetes, though these findings were not as significant as the effects on heart health. When the results were adjusted to exclude the effects of a larger BMI on the heart, vegetarians were only 28 percent less likely to have some sort of heart disease -- not an insignificant number. Tracy Parker from the British Heart Foundation also spoke with the BBC and agreed that a change in diet could play a large role when it comes to overall heart health. "This research reminds us that we should try to eat a balanced and varied diet - whether this includes meat or not,” said Parker. “But remember, choosing the veggie option on the menu is not a shortcut to a healthy heart. After all, there are still plenty of foods suitable for vegetarians that are high in saturated fat and salt.”
"If you're thinking of switching to a vegetarian diet, make sure you plan your meals carefully so that you replace any lost vitamins and minerals, such as iron, that you would normally get from meat." While this study has found vegetarians in the UK may have healthier lives, an American study released yesterday has found vegetables accounted for the most food-borne illnesses in a 10-year span. So, while a vegetarian diet may lead to a healthier heart in the UK, it could also lead to many long nights on the toilet in America.