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April 29, 2008

Heart Diseases and Vegans

Heart Diseases and Vegans

There can be many reasons for eating vegetarian diet more often, but it is a proven fact now that vegetarian diets carry more health benefits than non-vegetarian diets. One example can be seen with elimination of red meat from your diet. On an average, people who eat vegetarian diet usually have much lower levels of blood cholesterol, triglycerides and fats in general as compared to people who eat meat. This fact is regardless of any age factor, social status of people and even gender. High blood cholesterol and fat levels are found to be associated with higher risk of acquiring heart diseases. People who are lacto-ovo vegetarians, i.e., the one who eat eggs and dairy products, which also contain cholesterol and cholesterol-raising saturated fats, have higher levels of cholesterol in their blood than vegans in general, who do not consume any kind of animal products. In addition, lacto-ovo vegetarians have lower cholesterol levels as compared to non-vegetarians.

Recent researches have shown that men who eat meat six or more times per week are at risk of dying from heart diseases with a ratio two times more that those who do not eat meat. This trend is more commonly seen in older men. On the other hand, middle-aged men, who eat meat are four times more likely to suffer from a fatal heart attack, when compared to middle-aged men who do not eat meat. In women, who are usually protected by their hormones from various heart ailments or cholesterol -related problems, generally develop heart problems later in life than men of same age group. Among females, the risk of heart diseases has been found to be lower only among older vegetarians.

In a study of more than 10,000 meat eaters and vegetarians, British researchers have found that more the meat is consumed, greater are the chances of suffering from a heart attack. Although, elimination of meat from your diet will surely reduce your chances of getting any cardiovascular diseases due to decreased accumulation of heart-damaging fats and cholesterol in your body, substituting large amounts of high-fat dairy products and cholesterol rich products such as eggs, can even negate the effects further.

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