KUSA - A vegetarian diet might help cut down on heart disease, at least according to a new study out of England. This study, looking at nearly 45, 000 English and Scottish participants, further emphasized how important diet is to our overall health.
Researchers out of the University of Oxford found that the risk of death or hospitalization from heart disease is 32 percent lower in vegetarians when compared to those who eat fish and meat.
They feel that most of the reason this is happening is because of the effects diet has on cholesterol and high blood pressure, both factors that affect our heart health. Vegetarians in this study had lower blood pressures and cholesterol levels and that is thought to be the main reason behind their lower risk of developing heart disease.
The researchers also note that vegetarians typically have lower body mass indices, BMI, and less cases of diabetes.
The American Dietetic Associations states that when it comes to vegetarianism "appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases."
Other experts, like those at Harvard Medical School, point out that "appropriately planned" is the important part of a vegetarian diet.
A balanced vegetarian diet consists of a wide assortment of fruits, vegetables and grains along with nuts and possible olive or canola oil. This type of balanced diet is important to avoid some of the issues vegetarians and vegans occasionally run into, namely low B-12 levels, iron deficiency anemia and zinc deficiency.
For both vegetarian and non-vegetarian diets moderation is the key and making sure it's well balanced is important not only for the heart but for overall health in general.
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