It appears that all those burgers, steaks, sausages, chicken kebabs and virtually any other type of meat hasn't been all that good for you. There's no denying that they're a fantastic source of vital vitamins and nutrients, however, it's usually the meals that they come with aren't nearly as good as a vegetarian diet.
You're probably having a laugh at the idea that those vegans might have actually been onto something with their lifestyle, but the data doesn't lie. Those who eat a mostly plant-based diet cut their risk of heart failure by a whopping 42 percent, according to Icahn School of Medicine in New York.
The researchers surveyed more than 15,000 people and found five different eating habits. There were convenience foods, which are your pastas, red meats, and fast food, and then plant-based, which also includes fish. Then came sweets, which are all desserts and sugary breakfast foods, then southern, which consists of eggs, fried food, organ meats, processed meats, and then finally salads and alcohol - which seems to be a strange pairing.
When the team at Icahn School of Medicine looked at all the data, they sorted everyone into categories of age, sex, and race and found the plant-based eaters had the lowest risk of heart failure.
Internal medicine resident Dr. Lara has told the Daily Mail: "Eating a diet mostly of dark green, leafy plants, fruits, beans, whole grains and fish, while limiting processed meats, saturated fats, trans fats, refined carbohydrates and foods high in added sugars is a heart-healthy lifestyle and may specifically help prevent heart failure if you don't already have it."
There are plenty of types of vegetarianism, with different diets allowing or disallowing certain food groups. Fruitarianism, for example, only permits a person to eat fruit, nuts, seeds and other plant matter that doesn't harm the planet. Meanwhile, an ovo-lacto vegetarian can also eat eggs and dairy products.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Dietitians of Canada seem to be particularly fond of vegetarianism, saying that type of diet is 'healthful, nutritionally adequate, and provides health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases'.
While it's good to see this lifestyle can lead to a decreased risk of heart failure, there are some issues that can arise when it's poorly organized. Not realizing what foods have essential vitamins and nutrients can lead to platelet disorders.
It's always worth knowing exactly what you're putting in your gob so you know the benefits and risks to your health.
Kathy King, RDNPeer
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