Vegetarianism, over the years, is becoming a predominant trend across the world. Several people are opting for a plant-based diet over animal-based foods for an environment-friendly and healthier lifestyle. Nutrition experts have also associated a plethora of health benefits with it. But did you know that every vegetarian food may not be equally healthy? According to research presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress 2020, all the plant-based diets do not guarantee healthier food choices for better health status.
The researchers studied the association of the quantity and quality of plant-based foods and heart-health, over a span of 10 years. "Our study highlights the variable nutritional quality of plant foods," said author Dr. Matina Kouvari of Harokopio University, Athens, Greece.
The study analysed 146 obese people with normal blood pressure, blood lipids and blood sugar. By the end of 10 years, it was found that nearly half of the participants developed high blood pressure, high blood lipids and high blood sugar. It is noteworthy to mention that all these factors may lead to different heart-related risks. It was also found that this trend was more common in women than in men.
However, the findings of the study linked healthier choices of plant-based foods with lower blood pressure, blood lipids and blood sugar levels.
As per a report published on the website of European Society of Cardiology, least processed foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts were termed as healthy plant-based foods; whereas refined grains, potatoes, juices and any kind of sweets were termed unhealthy.
"Eating less meat is beneficial for heart health, particularly when it is replaced with nutritious plant foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and olive oil," noted Kouvari.