A plant-based diet lowers the risk of dying from a heart attack, according to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition. Researchers assessed diet records and cardiovascular disease-related mortality for 11,879 participants in the NHANES III study.
The authors developed an index that scored plant-based and animal-based foods differently to quantify adherence to a vegetarian diet. This allowed for comparisons between plant-based diets of differing nutritional quality.
A diet containing more healthful plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, lowered risk of death more than diets with less healthful foods such as sugar-sweetened beverages, sweets, or animal products.
Those who followed more plant-based diets consumed more fiber, vitamin C, and folate and less cholesterol, sodium, and saturated fat.
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Kim H, Caulfield LE, Rebholz CM. Healthy plant-based diets are associated with lower risk of all-cause mortality in US adults. J Nutr. 2018;4:624-631.