Healthy Hearts

Beyond Burgers, Morning Star sausages, tofu bacon! Oh my! 

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Look at all the veggie selections on the menu! Doctors — and parents — say they’re good for our overall health. But how exactly? What does eating more vegetables and less meat REALLY do for our hearts?

Enter Yuni Choi at University of Minnesota and colleagues.

Their research followed almost FIVE THOUSAND people from early adulthood to middle age. That’s over THIRTY years! They interviewed participants to record their diet and any shift towards a more plant-based diet. They also monitored which subjects developed cardiovascular disease by middle age.

Results? Eating or shifting to a veggie-centered diet as early adults correlated with a fifty-two percent LOWER risk of heart disease! 

But fear not, carnivores — the researchers say you don’t have to completely give up meat to reap benefits! Reducing meat consumption and eating more plant-based foods could help keep our hearts strong later in life.

Order up! I’ll have a black bean burger please. And yes, I DO want fries with that! … And some meatless … brownies!

Reference: Choi, Y., Larson, N., Steffen, L. M., Schreiner, P. J., Gallaher, D. D., Duprez, D. A., … & Jacobs Jr, D. R. Plant‐Centered Diet and Risk of Incident Cardiovascular Disease During Young to Middle Adulthood. Journal of the American Heart Association, 10(16), e020718. (2021).