Getting a healthy jump start on matters of the heart

Well it’s not quite February yet, but we thought we’d get ahead of the curve and begin posting about Heart Health today!

Why? Well we just ran across this interesting article in the BBC today: Vegetarians ‘cut heart risk by 32%’. The piece outlines findings from a recent study which illustrates the role that Vegetarianism can play in promoting a stronger ticker.

It reads in part:

A study of 44,500 people in England and Scotland showed vegetarians were 32% less likely to die or need hospital treatment as a result of heart disease.

Differences in cholesterol levels, blood pressure and body weight are thought to be behind the health boost.

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Heart disease is a major blight in Western countries. It kills 94,000 people in the UK each year – more than any other disease, and 2.6 million people live with the condition.

The heart’s own blood supply becomes blocked up by fatty deposits in the arteries that nourish the heart muscle. It can cause angina or even lead to a heart attack if the blood vessels become completely blocked.

Dr Francesca Crowe said: “The main message is that diet is an important determinant of heart health, I’m not advocating that everyone eats a vegetarian diet.”

The results showed the vegetarians had lower blood pressure, lower levels of “bad” cholesterol and were more likely to have a healthy weight.

Tracy Parker, from the British Heart Foundation, said: “But remember, choosing the veggie option on the menu is not a shortcut to a healthy heart. After all, there are still plenty of foods suitable for vegetarians that are high in saturated fat and salt.”

The study was originally published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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