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Know More: Vegetarian Diet As Good As Mediterranean For Heart Health: Study

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Want to keep your heart healthy? No need to switch to a fancy Mediterranean diet. A low-calorie vegetarian diet is as effective. Anindra Siqueira tells you more

We know that in the battle against high cholesterol and elevated blood pressure, vegetarian diets are helpful. And, often the Mediterranean diet is touted as the best kind to get hypertension and potential future heart issues under control. However, a new study says that a vegetarian diet may be better still.

The Italian clinical trial, published in the journal Circulation, suggests that a low-calorie vegetarian diet might be just as effective as (if not more effective than) a low-calorie Mediterranean diet when it comes to reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

The authors of the study note that although a Mediterranean diet is thought of as one of the healthiest models for preventing cardiovascular disease, a vegetarian diet is much less well studied. Both offer heart-healthy benefits, especially for people who include a lot of meat and fish in their diet.

According to the study findings, both the vegetarian diet and Mediterranean diet resulted in nearly equal reductions in body weight, body mass index and fat mass, among the 118 participants. However, significant differences between the two diets were seen for low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, triglycerides and levels of vitamin B12.

So, while the two diets are somewhat equally effective for the weight loss results they are capable of producing, a vegetarian diet was more effective in reducing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (the kind considered bad), whereas a Mediterranean diet led to a greater reduction in triglyceride levels.

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