Jan 312013
 

If, like me, heart disease is prevalent in your family, you can significantly reduce your risk of hospitalization and death from heart disease, according to a study from the University of Oxford.

The study reports that you can lower your risk of this disease by 32% by being a vegetarian. This agrees with a finding that I wrote about in a previous post titled A Heart Healthy Diet. That post summarizes the lifestyle of the people on the Greek island Ikaria, who tend to live long and healthy lives. One of their dietary habits is that they eat little meat. When they do eat meat, it is typically just on Sundays, and they eat meat from grass fed animals.

The conclusion of this Oxford study stresses the importance of diet on heart disease. The researchers believe that a vegetarian diet significantly improves cholesterol profiles and blood pressure. Vegetarians have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels than non-vegetarians.

Vegetarians also have lower body mass indices and fewer cases of diabetes.

As a matter of fact, cultures worldwide that have better than average life spans tend to eat a lot of green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli and kale, fruits, nuts, seeds and legumes. They also tend to eat little meat and dairy products.

The evidence is growing that diet is key not only for the prevention of heart disease, but also good health in general.

The Oxford study looked at 45,000 volunteers from England and Scotland, which is a rather large group of people to study. After taking into account age, smoking, alcohol usage, physical activity, education and socioeconomic background, the results clearly show that a vegetarian diet reduces our risk of heart disease by 32%.

So skip the meat and start eating a plant based diet and live a long, healthy and prosperous life.

Sources:

University of Oxford: "Vegetarianism Can Reduce Risk of Heart Disease By Up to a Third"