Eating a largely vegan diet made up of plant-based foods can slash the risk of heart disease by up to 52 per cent, new research suggests.
A variety of fruit and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, skinless fish and chicken, nuts and legumes are all key to staving off health problems later in life.
Conversely, researchers advise that young adults limit saturated fat, salt, red meat, sweets and sugary drinks to prevent heart attacks in middle-age.
While they didn’t look at the reason behind the link, previous research suggests plant-based diets can lower your blood pressure, improve cholesterol and help you lose weight – all risk factors for heart disease.
The long-term study, led by scientists at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis, looked at the diet of some 5,000 people over a 30-year period and whether they developed heart disease.
They were not told what to eat. Instead, the quality of their diet was assessed at the start of the study and then after seven years and 20 years based on the A Priori Diet Quality Score (APDQS).
The APDQS was made up of 46 food groups split into beneficial foods (such as fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and whole grains); adverse foods (such as fried potatoes, high-fat red meat, salty snacks, pastries and soft drinks); and neutral foods (such as potatoes, refined grains, lean meats and shellfish).
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SOURCE: Daily Mail, Sam Tonkin