A study in the Journal of the American Heart Association has found a link between plant-based diet and CVDs. It has shown that a diet rich in plant-based foods may reduce a person’s risk of CVD. Plant-based foods have also led to a decrease in the rate of deaths due to heart diseases and deaths due to all causes.
Eating plant-based foods can prevent heart attack, stroke, and deaths due to CVDs
Plant-based diets are the ones that focus on more intake of foods from plant sources. And there is no need to completely give up foods from the animal sources in this diet.
The study shows that having a larger portion of your diet from plant foods and a smaller portion from the animal-based foods can lower the risk of many diseases. It can help reduce the risk of stroke, coronary artery disease (CAD), heart attack, and other cardiovascular diseases (CVDs).
CVDs involve a group of diseases that affect the heart and the blood vessels. According to WHO, CVD is one of the major causes of death globally. And mostly a person can prevent CVDs by bringing a change in his/her lifestyle and dietary habits.
This study involves more than 10,000 U.S. adults. At the start of the study, none of these adults were having CVD. The research team has observed these middle-aged adults from 1987 – 2016.
And then they have analyzed the food intake data of these adults. Later, the study has classified the eating patterns of these adults based on the proportion of plant foods in their diet versus animal-based foods.
The results showed that adults who mostly ate plant-based foods had a 16% reduction in the risk of heart attacks, CAD, heart failure, stroke, and other CVDs. Also, there was a 32% decrease in the risk of deaths from cardiovascular disease.
In these adults, the risk of dying from any other cause has also lowered by 25% than those eating the least amount of foods from plant sources. These results have stressed the importance of diet for living a healthy life.
Choose plant foods that are rich in nutrition but low in added sugar, sodium, and unhealthy fats
To lower the risk of CVDs, a person should eat more foods from plant sources and fewer from animal sources. It involves a high intake of vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and whole grains.
The results of this study are quite similar to previous studies related to dietary patterns. These studies also include the DASH diet – Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. That focuses on similar plant-based foods.
The American Heart Association suggests eating plant-based foods as a part of the diet. Keeping in view that the foods chosen should be rich in nutrition, and also low in added sodium (salt), sugars, cholesterol, saturated, and trans fats (may clog arteries).
Higher intake of sodium, sugar, cholesterol, saturated, and trans fats lead to an increase in the risk of obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. All of these can act as a risk factor for CVDs.
The cauliflower pizza with extra cheese or French fries may be plant-based foods but they are also low in nutritional values. Also, these foods are high in sodium (salt), so these aren’t healthy choices. While unprocessed foods, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are healthy choices.
Overall the results of the study indicate that plant-based foods may reduce the risk of CVDs. But the study is fully observational and can’t prove any cause and effect.