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Michael Omidi, MD on New Benefits of Vegetarian Diet

Michael Omidi, MD discusses the new benefits of maintaining a vegetarian diet. According to new studies from Oxford University a vegetarian diet may help to reduce heart disease. 

While many choose a vegetarian or vegan diet because of their beliefs relating to animal cruelty, the majority of people now choose a vegetarian diet due to the health benefits. Some of the health benefits that result from a vegetarian diet include:

  • Lowering the risk of certain types of cancer including breast and lung
  • Decreased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, even lowering the need of those with diabetes for diabetes medications
  • Lowered risk of hypertension and renal disease

According to research performed by Oxford University, vegetarians have a 32% lower risk of becoming ill with or dying from heart disease. The study looked at the diet of approximately 45,000 volunteers in the United Kingdom. Not only did they examine whether or not participants ate meat or fish, but also took into account the consumption of alcohol, smoking and tobacco-use, and both socio-economic and educational factors as well.

Those who did not eat meat or fish were found to have lower levels of cholesterol and lower blood pressure than the others in the study, contributing to the decreased risk of heart disease.

Many people are moving toward a diet that is less focused on meant say the researchers, and of those that are not taking part in a vegetarian or vegan diet many more are picking up on a semi-meat or “flexitarian” diet. The benefits of these types of diet are not just health-related, but also have economic consequences as well; vegetarian foods are typically 60% cheaper than meat and fish and are also better for animal welfare and the environment.

With the stigma of vegetarian foods and cuisine shifting from the flavorless, tastes-like-sawdust mentality and the recent findings such as those from the Oxford study, we may be seeing a shift to vegetarian food sooner than later.

By Michael Omidi

Heart Disease Reduced by Vegetarian Diet

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