In recent years, big business has somehow managed to convince millions of Americans that they need to follow a strictly plant-based diet to support their health.
But, as an anthropologist, I look at the big picture. Which means I study human eating patterns over time. And for millions of years, eating meat and dairy helped humans survive and evolve.
Plus, as I’ve reported before, research shows that vegetarians actually face more major health issues than meat-eaters. And now, a brand–new study found that following a vegetarian diet can increase your heart disease risk…
Following a vegetarian diet does not guarantee heart health
For the new study, a team of researchers at Harokopio University in Athens, Greece followed more than 150 obese men and women for 10 years.
First, they divided the participants into two groups: vegetarians and meat-eaters.
Then, they sub-divided the vegetarian group. The first vegetarian group ate more healthy plant-based foods—like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and olive oil. The second vegetarian group ate more processed, unhealthy, plant-based foods—like refined carbohydrates, sweetened beverages, and sugary desserts.
At the study’s outset, all the participants had normal blood pressure, blood sugar, and triglycerides (blood fats). And none of them had heart disease.
But within 10 years, nearly half of the participants developed high blood pressure and high blood sugar and were at increased risk of developing cardiometabolic heart disease. And following a vegetarian diet didn’t offer protection against these health problems…
The quality of ALL food matters
The probability of vegetarians developing cardiometabolic disease depended on what type of plant-based diet they followed. Specifically, those who relied mainly on healthy, unprocessed, plant-based foods (such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and olive oil) tended to retain their normal blood pressure, blood lipids, and blood sugar over the 10-year period.
However, those who relied mainly on unhealthy, ultra-processed, plant-based foods tended to have a much higher risk of developing high blood pressure, high blood lipids, and high blood sugar. Plus, this relationship was stronger in women compared to men.
Simply put, cutting out meat from your diet does NOT guarantee protection for your heart. On the contrary, if you cut out meat, but fill the void with unhealthy, ultra-processed, plant-based products—such as “fake meat” veggie burgers and processed carbs—you’re setting yourself up for a total health disaster.
Enjoy a balanced, healthy diet—with meat, seafood, and full-fat dairy
I found it rather astonishing that this study of vegetarians took place in Greece. You’d think that most people living in the birthplace of the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet would know better than to stray from this healthy, deeply satisfying, and science-backed pattern of eating!
Remember, on this traditional, satisfying, balanced, healthy diet, you can enjoy meats, seafood, and full-fat dairy. Together, these foods contain all of the hard-to-find proteins, fats, and bioavailable minerals, such as calcium and iron, which should never come from supplements and are much more difficult to get from any other sources. You can also enjoy fresh produce, nuts and seeds, and alcohol (in moderation).
For more insight into natural ways to protect your heart as you get older, I encourage you to check out my Heart Attack Prevention and Repair Protocol. This innovative, online learning tool outlines the natural, heart-healing pathway to low blood pressure, a stroke-free brain, and never having to take a dangerous heart medication again. To learn more, or to enroll today, click here now!
“Are all vegetarian diets healthy?” ScienceDaily, 8/27/20. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/08/200827101841.htm)