People choose a vegetarian or vegan diet for a number of reasons. Research over many years has linked plant-based diets to lower rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers as compared with diets high in meat and other animal products. Dietary guidelines and recommendations from nutrition experts reflect this, encouraging the adoption of diets such as the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet that are heavy on fruits and vegetables and restrict consumption of red meat. Plant-based diets carry some risk of inadequate protein, vitamin, and mineral intake. But these risks are readily overcome by choosing the right vegetarian foods and, when necessary, supplements. For example, soy, quinoa, and nuts are good sources of protein, and tofu, lentils, and spinach are good sources of iron. But a new study, published in the medical journal The BMJ, raises the possibility that despite the health benefits demonstrated by past research, plant-based diets could come with a previously unrecognized health risk.
It’s clear that following a plant-based diet is associated with a lower risk of heart disease. But do all plant-based diets have the same effect? And do you really have to cut out all meat for your heart’s sake?
Jan 1, Gluten-free vegan diet induces decreased LDL and oxidized LDL levels and raised atheroprotective natural antibodies against phosphorylcholine in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a randomized study. Lipids Health Dis. Total fat is generally restricted. Complement Ther. Calcium intake can be adequate in a well-balanced, carefully planned, plant-based diet. Not to mention that part of the epidemiological data, such as the PURE study, show that the consumption of meat and dairy can be associated with less — rather than more — chronic disease. Gut microbiota interacts with brain microstructure and function. BMJ Open 7, e Allen, A. In , around 0. Short-chain fatty acids in control of body weight and insulin sensitivity.
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