A Plant-based Diet Critical in Heart Health and Lower Mortality, Study Shows

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According to a recent study conducted in Ireland, consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can significantly reduce the risk of premature death. In addition, the research indicates that individuals who consume these foods in high quantities experience fewer severe diseases and hip fractures.

A healthy diet reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease

The study examined over 126,000 British adults over ten years and found that adopting a plant-based diet reduced mortality rates by 16%. Moreover, cancer and cardiovascular disease incidences dropped by 7% and 8%, respectively. A diet consisting of healthy, plant-based foods also decreased the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes by 14% and 16%.

As per the study published in the JAMA Network Open, the team led by Dr. Tilman Kuhn from Queen’s University Belfast found that following a nutritious plant-based diet is linked to a decreased chance of mortality, cancer, and especially cardiovascular disease. In addition, findings indicate that a healthy plant-based diet and avoiding sugary foods, desserts and snacks, potatoes, refined grains, and animal foods is linked to a lower risk of chronic diseases and mortality among adult Britons.

Plant-based diets reduce the risk of chronic diseases

Researchers analyzed data from 126,394 older participants in the U.K. Biobank database to assess the quality of plant-based diets for mortality and chronic diseases. Although plant-based diets have grown in popularity, a comprehensive review of their quality concerning chronic disease and mortality risk still needs to be completed. Therefore, they recruited individuals between 2006 and 2010 and followed them for up to 12.2 years using 24-hour dietary assessments to identify adherence to plant-based diets or diets containing more junk food.

Dr. Kuhn concludes that a diet featuring high-quality plant-based foods and low animal product intake can improve health, regardless of chronic disease risk factors and genetic predisposition. The findings suggest a shift towards healthy plant-based food intake to improve health and offer data necessary to support the consumption of a plant-based diet for cardiovascular disease prevention. However, more studies on diverse populations are needed to evaluate the risk of major chronic diseases with plant-based diets.

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