Two recent studies try to understand the connection between heart health and a plant-based diet. A team of scientists followed a group of people who included more plant-based foods in their diet for 11680 days. They found out that people who followed a mostly plant-based diet could improve their heart health to a great extent. Another study followed women. The study revealed that following a plant-based diet improved heart health for women in their post-menopausal stage.
The Connection Between Plant-based Diet And Your Heart Health
Including more fresh foods in the diet is something health professionals have been recommending for a long. According to them, replacing processed foods with their natural alternatives offers numerous health benefits.
Two recent studies tried to evaluate the benefits of following a plant-based diet. Scientists followed the participants for more than 20 years to know the trends in their choice of foods.
The United States Department of Agriculture has been publishing its guidelines for more than 100 years in this direction. The agency always tried to focus on food items that offered maximum nutritional value. It recommends that a person’s diet should contain the following:
The guidelines are based on a generally recommended 2000-calorie diet. According to it, a person should have:
- 2.5 cups of vegetables
- Two cups of fruits
- 5.5 ounces of protein-rich foods
- 6 ounces of grains
- 3 cups of dairy
USDA also advises people to bring variety in their protein-rich foods. They may even explore the possibility of meatless diets at regular intervals.
The findings of one such study named Plant-centered diet and risk of incident cardiovascular disease during young to middle adulthood appeared in the journal of the American Heart Association. The team of scientists monitored up to 5,000 young adults. The participants were 18-30 years when the study started. It lasted three decades and two years. No one among its participants had cardiac issues at the time. Doctors evaluated the health of their hearts at regular intervals. They inquired about their food choices and gave them a diet quality score. Over time, they had to make a few adjustments like sex and race.
In the end, 300 among them developed heart ailments. They also found out that those who followed a plant-based diet had 52% less risk of developing heart problems than those who seldom included plant-based foods in their diet.
According to health professionals, a nutritionally rich diet is what matters most. It does not have to be purely vegetarian. You have to go for as many natural foods as possible. You may also include animal products in your diet every now and then.
The data published, according to experts, goes in line with the previous research done in the field. For some, the findings are not surprising in any way. The bottom line; there is nothing as too early or too late to start a plant-based diet.
The findings of the study done among post-menopausal women too appeared in the same journal. It was named Relationship between a plant-based dietary portfolio and risk of cardiovascular disease: Findings from the Women’s Health Initiative prospective cohort study. It followed the women in the age range of 50-79. It enrolled its participants from 1993 and 1998. The study ended in 2017.
The team of researchers wanted to see if the port-folio diet decreased the chance of the study participants having heart ailments or other related health issues. The port-folio diet was mostly plant-centered.
The study participants completed questionnaires from time to time. This helped researchers see how closely are following the assigned diet. Their findings too attested to all the observations of the first study. A plant-based diet reduces the chance of you getting sick with heart problems.