Eating more plant-based foods and fewer animal-based foods may be linked to better heart health and a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases, a new study suggests.
"Eating a larger proportion of plant-based foods and a smaller proportion of animal-based foods may help reduce your risk of having a heart attack, stroke or other type of cardiovascular disease," said study lead researcher, Casey M Rebholz, Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US.
Published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the researchers reviewed a database of food intake information from more than 10 000 middle-aged US adults who were monitored from 1987 through 2016 and did not have cardiovascular disease at the start of the study.
Those who ate the most plant-based foods overall had a 16% lower risk of having a cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks, stroke, heart failure and other conditions; 32% lower risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease and 25% lower risk of dying from any cause compared to those who ate the least amount of plant-based foods.
"Our findings underscore the importance of focusing on your diet. There might be some variability in terms of individual foods but to reduce cardiovascular disease risk people should eat more vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fruits, legumes and fewer animal-based foods," Rebholz said.