The China Project confirmed that there were virtually no heart attacks in populations that consume a lifelong vegetarian diet and almost no heart attacks in populations consuming a diet that is rich in natural plant foods and receives less than 10 percent of its calories from animal foods.Pretty cool—right? Well, the coolness train isn’t about to pull out of the station anytime soon. Get a load of this from AlterNet, “15 Reasons to Stop Hiding from Vegetarianism.” Personally, I could never go total vegetarian—I love sushi too much! But check it out anyway:
My observation of the worldwide data is supported by studies of American vegetarians and nonvegetarians.1 These studies show that the major risk factors associated with heart disease — smoking, physical inactivity, and animal-product consumption — are avoidable. Every heart attack death is even more of a tragedy because it likely could have been prevented.
1. You'll ward off disease. Vegetarian diets are more healthful than the average American diet, particularly in preventing, treating or reversing heart disease and reducing the risk of cancer. A low-fat vegetarian diet is the single most effective way to stop the progression of coronary artery disease or prevent it entirely. Cardiovascular disease kills 1 million Americans annually and is the leading cause of death in the United States. But the mortality rate for cardiovascular disease is lower in vegetarians than in nonvegetarians, says Joel Fuhrman, MD, author of Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss. A vegetarian diet is inherently healthful because vegetarians consume no animal fat and less cholesterol and instead consume more fiber and more antioxidant-rich produce -- another great reason to listen to Mom and eat your veggies!And yes, it’s always cool to find Dr. Fuhrman quoted somewhere.
2. You'll keep your weight down. The standard American diet -- high in saturated fats and processed foods and low in plant-based foods and complex carbohydrates -- is making us fat and killing us slowly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a division of the CDC, the National Center for Health Statistics, 64 percent of adults and 15 percent of children aged 6 to 19 are overweight and are at risk of weight-related ailments including heart disease, stroke and diabetes. A study conducted from 1986 to 1992 by Dean Ornish, MD, president and director of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California, found that overweight people who followed a low-fat, vegetarian diet lost an average of 24 pounds in the first year and kept off that weight 5 years later. They lost the weight without counting calories or carbs and without measuring portions or feeling hungry.
1. Fraser, G. E., K. D. Lindsted, and W. L. Beeson. 1995. Effect of risk factor values on lifetime risk of and age at first coronary event: the Adventist Health Study. Am. J. Epidemiol. 142 (7): 746–58; Fraser, G. E. 1999. Associations between diet and cancer, ischemic heart disease, and all-cause mortality in non-Hispanic white California Seventh-Day Adventists. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 70 (3 supp.): 532–38S.