A plant-based diet is indeed healthier than a meat one, but do you really know why? Of course, eating fruits and vegetables has so many benefits, but why choosing a plant-based diet would be a great choice?
A team of researchers comes in help and offers us a new perspective about why following a plant-based diet might actually do good to your heart.
Here is what you need to know.
Food For Your Heart
For the new study, a team of researchers surveyed over 4,800 people over 32 years. The findings are finally shedding some light on the long-standing question: could a plant-based diet really be good for you?
Apparently, a plant-based diet is more likely to be linked with a lower risk of future stroke and coronary heart disease than focusing only on lower saturated fats.
Yuni Choi, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University of Minnesota, released a statement explaining that:
“It’s true that low-saturated fat actually lowers LDL [bad] cholesterol, but it cannot predict cardiovascular disease.”
But to reach that conclusion, the researchers had to do a lot of work. They carried three comprehensive diet history interviews over the follow-up period and measured scores for each using something called APDQS (A Priori Diet Quality Score). Here’s how this thing works:
- Higher APDQS: higher intake of nutritionally rich plant foods and less high-fat meats;
- Lower APDQS: less saturated fats and plant-based diets.
People with lower APDQS had lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels, also known as bad cholesterol. On the other hand, people with higher APDQS had a lower risk of heart disease and stroke over the long term.
What researchers recommend
The team said that plates filled with vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fruits, nuts, and even tea and coffee are always a great idea for those conscious of heart health. Of course, discussing this with your doctor is better to find out what could really suit your lifestyle.
Given the plant-based diets have been linked to a lower risk of other diseases, researchers are now aiming to understand how APDQS scores influence chronic conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, and obesity.