Washington: Semi-veggie diet, where proportion of plant-based foods is higher compared to animal-based foods, can help reduce the risk heart disease and stroke significantly, claims a new study.
In an observational study, researchers analyzed the eating and lifestyle habits of 451,256 Europeans. People who ate the most pro-vegetarian style diets (70 percent of food coming from plant sources) had a 20 percent lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, compared to those who were the least pro-vegetarian (<45 percent).
Lead author Camille Lassale, Ph.D., said that a pro-vegetarian diet focuses on increasing the proportion of plant based foods relative to animal-based foods, which results in an improved nutritionally balance diet.
She added that instead of drastic avoidance of animal-based foods, substituting some of the meat in your diet with plant-based sources may be a very simple, useful way to lower cardiovascular mortality. The findings are in line with the wealth of evidence on benefits of eating plant foods to prevent CVD.
The American Heart Association recommends following a heart-healthy diet, which could also be described as a pro-vegetarian diet. It is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, beans, and nuts, low-fat dairy, beans, skinless poultry, and fish. It encourages eating foods low in saturated and trans fats and sodium, and limiting added sugars and red meats.
The research was presented at the American Heart Association EPI/Lifestyle 2015 meeting.