New piece of research builds upon findings that cutting out meat and choosing fish cloud significantly decrease the risk of suffering a heart attack by a third. Scientists found pescatarians were 30 percent less prone to have a heart attack and had a 22 percent lower chance of suffering from heart failure.
Fish eaters also had a 21 percent lower risk of stroke and coronary heart disease after adjusting to aspects such as BMI, lifestyle, and underlying health issues. The University of Glasgow research, which analyzed the diets of more than 420,000 people throughout eight whole years, also found that vegetarians were less likely to develop heart issues.
Meat-Eaters are More Prone to Develop Heart Diseases
The research used data from the U.K. Biobank to assay the health of vegetarians, fish, poultry, and meat-eaters. Accounting for 97.7 percent of people studied, the latter were more prone to be obese and ate the least fiber, vegetables, fruit, and healthy fats such as those found in avocados and oily fish.
Victoria Taylor, a senior dietitian at the British Heart Foundation, said that the discoveries backed up much previous evidence.
“A whole diet approach, such as the Mediterranean diet, is needed to help lower your risk,” she added.
A paper detailing the findings was published in the European Heart Journal.
Other Studies Back Up the Findings
Other studies have reached the same conclusion. For instance, a 2020 research published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that eating two servings of red meat, processed meat, or poultry – but not fish – weekly increases the risk of heart issues by three to seven percent. The same habit was associated with a three percent higher risk of all types of death.
“Red meat and even some of the white meats have [high levels of] saturated fat, and the more saturated fat you eat, the greater the likelihood is that you’re going to raise your cholesterol,” explained Nieca Goldberg, MD, medical director of the Women’s Heart Program and senior advisor for Women’s Health Strategy at NYU Langone Health.
Processed foods are also known to lead to a higher risk of many different illnesses. In fact, for every ten percent increase in the amount of processed foods, the risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack was found to increase by 12 percent.