Smart Way to Lower Your Risk for Heart Disease

doctor holding heart

Adopting a plant-based diet can help you stave off heart disease.

Every year, about 600,000 people die of cardiovascular disease—making it one of the deadliest medical conditions in the U.S.  In fact, it is the leading cause of death for both men and women.  Even individuals who maintain balanced diets and exercise regularly can fall victim to heart disease.  So, is there any way to fight this growing epidemic?

A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that cutting meat from your diet may be one solution.  The study looked at 44,500 people in England and Scotland and concluded that vegetarians were 32% less likely to die or be hospitalized from heart disease.

The researchers conducting the study theorize that the results have to do with differences in cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and body weight between meat-eaters and individuals that maintain a vegetarian diet.  Because meat and animal products are high in saturated fats, people that eat meat tend to have higher cholesterol and blood pressure levels.  Additionally, people who consume meat may also have a harder time maintaining healthy body weight.

While other factors such as age, family history, smoking, alcohol consumption, activity level, education level, and socioeconomic status can also affect a person’s likelihood of developing heart disease, the main point of the study is to show that diet is an important determinant of heart health.

For those who enjoy meat, this news may be sobering.  However, research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association offers reassurance for those who don’t want to give up meat all at once.  According to the main researcher on the study, you don’t need to give up animal products completely to take care of your heart health.  As long as you eat a larger proportion of plant-based foods and lower your intake of meat and other animal-based products, you can decrease your chances of heart attack, stroke, and other types of cardiovascular disease.

However, researchers warn that going vegetarian or vegan is not an excuse to load up on French fries and potato chips.  To take care of your health, you should stick to unprocessed food like fresh produce and whole grains.  Limiting your intake of refined carbohydrates and added sugars are the key to making the most of a vegetarian diet.

This is how adopting a plant-based diet can help you stave off cardiovascular disease.  Want another way to take care of yourself?  Then make sure you have the right health and life insurance in place.  For assistance with all your personal coverage needs, contact the experts at Udell Family Insurance today.

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