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Vegetarian Diets Decrease Heart Disease Risk

Vegetarian diets are widely known to produce immense health benefits. A new study out of the UK has identified one of those health benefits as a decreased risk of heart disease. Vegetarian diets have been applauded for their incredible benefits to the human body. Some of these benefits include a lower risk of developing cancer or diabetes, extended life span, and overall lower body weight. With the new added benefit of decreased risk of heart disease, specifically lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels, can be added to the list. The study was conducted in Britain, starting in the 1990’s, and focused on 45,000 participants from England and Scotland. Nearly 34% of the participants were vegetarian at the beginning of the study and all participants had blood samples taken and blood pressure checked. In 2009, the study closed and results were compiled. Over 1,200 participants had developed cardiovascular disease. 1,066 people had been hospitalized for the condition and 169 had died as a result. Researchers blended in other risk factors including smoking, age, exercise, etc. before finding that vegetarians are 32% less likely to develop heart disease. Some researchers are skeptical of these results. For one, as it pertains to America, Europeans are generally smaller in body weight and exercise by walking more often, which in turn makes their bodies healthier to begin with. The body types common in Europe are fading quickly in America as we try to work through our obesity epidemic. However, one thing all the researchers agree on is that a vegetarian diet does promote a healthier body and life. While some researchers speculate the actual percentage of decreased risk for heart disease, there is a common agreement that a vegetarian diet is far better for blood pressure and cholesterol than a diet containing meat. Some experts also believe that semi-vegetarians and pesco-vegetarians, who strictly limit the amount of meat in their diet, also receive similar benefits to those who eat a strict veggie only diet. Heart disease can run in families, leaving many pre-disposed to the condition. Heart disease can also develop from eating poor diets. Vegetarian diets have come a long way over several decades. There is a wide variety of recipes and meat substitutes that all help to provide an overall healthy diet package. If health is a concern, researching vegetarian diets may help provide a natural way to reach health goals. Sources: Times of India - U.S. World News & Report - HealthDay - Huffington Post - Healthy Living -
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