Almost any person is afraid of getting a heart attack at some point of his or her life. However, many people would still be alive if they knew how to significantly lower their risk of becoming a victim of a sudden heart attack. Heart diseases have a hazardous impact on someone’s life quality. Fortunately, heart diseases can be reduced by one third according to a study of the Oxford University if people are willing to switch to a plan-based diet. There is even more to it: heart diseases can even be treated very successfully by switching to a vegetarian and vegan diet. This should be good news to all who are at risk of suffering from a heart disease or who are already in this precarious state of health.
“Fancy a burger tonight? A new report might make you think again about your dinner. Researchers from the University of Oxford have analysed the diets of almost 45,000 volunteers in England and Scotland, to compare the rates of heart disease in those who do, and don’t eat meat and fish.
The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that vegetarians had a 32 per cent lower risk of falling ill or dying from heart disease.
Dr Francesca Crowe, who lead the team from the university’s cancer epidemiology unit, said: “Most of the difference in risk is probably caused by effects on cholesterol and blood pressure, and shows the important role of diet in the prevention of heart disease.”
The research was funded by Cancer Research UK and the Medical Research Council, and began recruiting volunteers to take part during the 1990s. Around a third of the participants were vegetarian.
The volunteers were asked detailed questions about their diet and exercise, as well as other factors which might affect health, like smoking, alcohol consumption, and educational and socio-economic background.
Those who didn’t eat meat or fish had lower blood pressures and levels of cholesterol than the others, which the experts concluded was the main factor behind the reduced risk of heart disease.
Other research already shows people are already becoming inclined to eat less meat. Global food trends agency Thefoodpeople carried out a study earlier this month, predicting a 50 per cent surge in vegetarianism in the UK.
They also found the number of people adopting a semi-meat, or flexitarian diet was also rapidly increasing. The agency’s director, Charles Banks described it as a mega-trend: “20 years ago vegetarianism was scoffed at, but of late there has been a seismic shift in attitudes towards celebrating vegetables and opting to eat less meat.”
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Image Source: Kate Mereand-Sinha