People may become vegetarian for many reasons. Some may include health, religion, animal welfare concern or the use of hormones etc. in livestock. While others may follow a largely vegetarian diet since they can’t afford to eat meat. Recent studies have shown many health benefits in reducing meat intake and, by contrast, encourage plant-based diet which is great news for your heart’s health.
Currently, in the United States, a trend has taken roots where people are drawn towards vegetarianism and veganism. And to further increase a healthy lifestyle attitude, many people are moving to reduce their meat intake.
Many researchers and studies conducted in the past few decades have proven time and time again that restricting meat diet has had a very positive effect on your body. Plant-based diets are particularly helpful in reducing risk of certain illnesses and disease such as obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and may even prove to guard your body against certain cancers.
Accumulating information from a range of studies and clinical trial results, the researchers have found that plant-based diets are most important in the fight against heart disease and were also proven to improve heart’s condition overall.
They found out that people following strict plant-based diets reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 40%. Such people also reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 40%. Even patients with blocked arteries had above 90% success rate in unblocking their arteries, partially or fully. Patients with risk of hypertension had it decreased by almost 35%. Also, vegetarians have very low levels of cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein, also known as bad cholesterol. Furthermore, plant-based diet has also proven more effective in weight loss.
As the study author, Dr. Hana Kahleova, Ph.D. states that a plant-based diet has the proven ability to not only prevent heart disease but also manage and in some cases reverse it, which is something no drug has ever achieved. Dr. Kahleova also notes that more healthy diets and healthful lifestyles lower the risk of heart attack by up to 94%, where drugs can only contribute as much as 30%.
Now the question arises as to how vegetarian diet protects the heart. There seem to be ample reasons why and how plant-based diets prove healthier for the heart than the meat-heavy ones. It has come to light that plants, in general, divulge more benefits, while meat increases certain risks to the heart specifically. For example, plants are highly rich in fiber phytonutrients, which are known as a source to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
On the other hand, meat and animal products are often high in fat, cholesterol, heme iron, and environmental pollutants. However, this is a complex relation, and there may be many more aspects that are as yet unknown. Many studies are still being conducted to find out more about the complex interaction between plant-based diet and meat-heavy meals.
Almost six to eight million adults in the U.S. don’t eat fish, meat or poultry. Several million more have eliminated red meat but still eat fish or chicken. Heart disease is responsible for more than 600,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, and it maintains to be the leading cause of death around the globe. These findings highlight that people are more indulged in diets that are meat inclusive rather than plant-based.
However, these numbers prove that if people could be nudged moderately towards vegetarian diet and also moved away from consumption of heavy meat content, we could improve humanity’s heart condition and health substantially. As Dr. Kahleova states with a dash of hope and positivity, “Heart disease may be the world’s leading cause of death but it doesn’t have to be.”