New research suggests that a vegetarian diet benefits your heart and may also lead to healthier blood pressure.1 This means that if you are vegetarian you may be less likely to develop serious heart issues such as angina or a heart attack, than if you're a meat-eater.
In a wide-ranging and impressive study on nutrition in the UK which was carried out by researchers from Oxford University, nearly 45,000 participants were recruited from England and Scotland and were monitored for an average of 11 years.
Researchers scrutinised hospital records and death certificates for evidence of coronary heart disease, noting which participants suffered angina or heart attacks.
The study found that the risk to vegetarians was almost a third less (32%) of developing coronary heart disease during the follow-up period compared to non-vegetarians. Although there may be other lifestyle and health factors not included in the study that could also be associated with a lower risk of heart disease, the data does indicate a definite link between vegetarianism and healthy hearts.
1. Crowe FL, Appleby PN, Travis RC, Key TJ. Risk of hospitalization or death from ischemic heart disease among British vegetarians and nonvegetarians: results from the EPIC-Oxford cohort study. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Published online January 30 2013.