There’s no dearth of information out there that tells us that a vegetarian diet is healthier than a non-vegetarian diet and that too much red meat consumption puts us at a greater risk of cardiovascular disease. However, a recent study has argued that meat eaters aren’t at a significantly higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease as compared to vegetarians.
Presented at the American College of Gastroenterology annual meeting, the study stated it had covered 12,000 adults including 262 vegetarians between 2007 and 2010.
The researchers looked at the rates of obesity, waist circumference, blood pressure levels, cholesterol levels and glucose levels. It also tested participants with the Framingham Risk Score, which estimates the risk of cardiovascular disease over the next ten years.
The results revealed that, when the Framingham test was taken, vegetarians had a risk of 2.7% while non-vegetarians had a 4.5% risk; a difference which was not statistically significant, the researchers argued.
“Followers of the vegetarian diet do have lower risks of obesity, high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome,” all risk factors for heart disease,” said Dr Hyunseok Kim, the study lead. However, he added that this may be because vegetarians tend to be younger and female, automatically putting them at a lower risk for heart disease.
“I wouldn’t say a vegetarian diet is useless for preventing cardiovascular risk,” said Kim. However, he concluded by saying that a vegetarian diet isn’t as significantly more beneficial when compared to a non-vegetarian diet as society believes.