According to a long-term study, eating a plant-centered diet during young adulthood is associated with a lower risk of heart disease in middle age, according to a long-term study.
The Portfolio Diet is a diet plan designed to lower your cholesterol levels by including more soy protein, plant sterols, nuts, and soluble fiber in your diet. The diet focuses on four key ingredients:
- soy protein
- plant sterols
- tree nuts
- soluble fiber
It also allows a limited amount of saturated fats and dietary cholesterol. Postmenopausal women who ate the most of these foods were 11 percent less likely to develop cardiovascular disease of any kind and 14 percent less likely to develop coronary heart disease, in which plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries leading to the heart. They were 17 percent less likely to develop heart failure, which occurs when the heart can’t pump blood as well as it should. The diet didn’t appear to affect stroke risk.
Eating More Plant Foods May Cut Heart Disease Risk in Young Adults
One study evaluated whether long-term consumption of a plant-based diet and a shift toward a plant-based diet starting in young adulthood is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in midlife. In another study, scientists examined whether diets that included a dietary portfolio of plant-based foods with U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved health claims for lowering “bad” cholesterol levels were associated with fewer cardiovascular disease events in a large group of postmenopausal women. This study included 123,330 women who took part in the Women’s Health Initiative, a long-term study looking at risk factors, prevention, and early detection of serious health conditions in postmenopausal women.
“The increasing popularity of plant-based eating will make the foods recommended in the Portfolio Diet easier to incorporate into individuals’ diets.”
Researchers have found the following:
- During the 32-year follow-up period, 289 participants developed cardiovascular disease, including heart attack, stroke, heart failure, heart-related chest pain, or blockage of an artery somewhere in the body.
- Those who scored the top 20% in long-term diet quality scores (ie, eat the most nutritious vegetable foods and have the lowest ratings for animal foods) have several factors (including age). After considering, the chances of developing cardiovascular disease were reduced by 52%. , Gender, race, average calorie consumption, education, parental history of heart disease, smoking and average physical activity).
- In addition, those who improved their diet quality most during the 7 to 20 years of the study, where participants were 25 to 50 years old (eating more beneficial plant foods and adversely rated animal foods). Less was 61% less likely to develop subsequent cardiovascular disease, compared to participants with the lowest dietary quality during that time.
- Due to the small number of vegetarians among the participants, this study could not assess the possible benefits of a strict vegetarian diet, excluding all animal foods, including meat, dairy products, and eggs.