Vegetarians are 32% less likely to suffer from heart disease, according to a recent medical study, according to the American news channel ABC News. The study was large-scale: 44.561 people participated in it (a third of them are vegetarians), it was conducted jointly by EPIC and the University of Oxford (UK) and began back in 1993! The results of this study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, an authoritative medical publication, today allow us to say without a shadow of a doubt: yes, vegetarians are much healthier.
“This is a very good study,” said Dr. William Abraham, who heads the department of heart disease at the Ohio State Research University (USA). “This is additional evidence that a vegetarian diet reduces the risk of coronary heart disease or coronary insufficiency (heart arteries – Vegetarian).”
For reference, a heart attack takes the lives of about 2 million people in the United States annually, and another 800 thousand people die from various heart diseases (data from the American national statistical organization The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Heart disease, along with cancer, is one of the leading causes of death in developed countries.
Dr. Abraham and his colleague Dr. Peter McCullough, a Michigan heart specialist, agree that the value of vegetarianism in terms of heart health is not that it allows a person to get all the necessary nutrients. Vegan and vegetarian diets are praised by cardiologists for protecting against two of the most heart-damaging substances: saturated fat and sodium.
“Saturated fat is the only good reason for the formation of excess cholesterol,” said Dr. McCullough, explaining that the formation of cholesterol in the blood is not related to the content of dietary cholesterol in food, as many superficially believe. “And sodium intake directly affects blood pressure.”
High blood pressure and high cholesterol levels are a direct road to coronary heart disease, because. they shrink blood vessels and prevent sufficient blood supply to the heart, experts recalled.
Abraham shared his personal experience, saying that he often prescribes a vegetarian diet for his patients who have had a heart attack. Now, after receiving the results of a new study, the doctor plans to “prescribe vegetarianism” on a regular basis, even for those patients who are still at risk.
Dr. McCullough, on the other hand, admitted that he never recommended that heart patients switch to a vegetarian diet. It’s enough to eat healthier by eliminating three things from the diet: sugar, starch and saturated fat, says McCullough. At the same time, the doctor considers beef one of the most harmful foods for the heart, and suggests replacing it with fish, legumes and nuts (to prevent a lack of protein – Vegetarian). Dr. McCullough is skeptical of vegans because believes that people, having switched to such a diet and stopped eating meat, often mistakenly increase their consumption of sugar-containing foods and cheese – and in fact, cheese, in addition to a certain amount of protein, contains up to 60% saturated fat, the doctor recalled. It turns out that such an irresponsible vegetarian (“replacing” meat with cheese and sugar), consumes two of the three most harmful foods for the heart in an increased proportion, which will inevitably affect heart health over time, the specialist emphasized.