Scientists at England’s Oxford University Concluded in a recent study that vegetarians were 32 percent less likely to be hospitalised or die from heart disease than people who ate meat and fish.
The research involved 45,000 adults, one-
Francesca Crowe one of the authors of the study and a nutritional epidemiologist at Oxford attributed the vegetarians resistance to heart disease to the fact that they had lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure due to their dietary choice.
Typically, vegetarian diets are lower in saturated fat and cholesterol. Vegetarians typically have lower blood cholesterol levels. Plant based diets normally include foods that are rich in soluble fibre foods such as dry beans, oats, carrots, squash, apples, and citrus which are useful for lowering serum cholesterol levels.
Various factors exist in fruits and vegetables that provide possible protection against cardiovascular disease. These factors include folic acid, dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, carotenoids, phytosterols, flavonoids, and other polyphenolic antioxidants.
The many flavonoids in fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains, have extensive
biological properties that reduce the risk of heart disease. Flavonoids are among
the most potent antioxidants. They protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation; inhibit
the formation of blood clots; and have hypolipidemic effects and anti-
Fruit and vegetables are abundant in powerful antioxidants that can counter free radicals and give protection from cholesterol oxidation. These antioxidants are present in the yellow orange and red pigments seen in some fruit and vegetables. Persons with high levels of serum carotenoids have a reduced risk of heart disease.
Lycopene is the red pigment in tomatoes, pink grapefruit, and watermelon and therefore
abundant in a vegetarian diet. The recent EURAMIC study found that a high intake
of lycopene was associated in men with a 48 percent lower risk of suffering a heart
attack compared with a low intake of lycopene. Cholesterol synthesis is suppressed
and LDL receptor activity is augmented by the carotenoids beta-
Healthy volunteers who consumed a vegetarian diet that was made up from green, leafy
vegetables and other low-