New research has found that eating a plant-based vegetarian diet can help to lower cholesterol levels.
The study, which was published in Nutritional Reviews, show that the reductions in cholesterol levels caused by a plant-based vegetarian diet were significantly greater than those caused by ‘healthy’ omnivorous diets.
The study discovered that following a plant-based vegetarian diet is linked to lowering cholesterol by 29.2 mg/dL.
It is believed that this link is due to the association between plant-based diets and lower body weight, as well as lower consumption of saturated fat
“The immediate health benefits of a plant-based diet, like weight loss, lower blood pressure, and improved cholesterol, are well documented in controlled studies,” said study author Susan Levin.
“Our goal with studying plasma lipids throughout the lifespan is to capture the net risk reduction of using a vegetarian diet to control lipid levels. We hope to empower patients with new research about the long-term cardiovascular health benefits of a vegetarian diet, which include a reduced risk of a heart attack, stroke, and premature death.”
Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is required for the body to function normally. It is beneficial to have high levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, but too much “bad” LDL cholesterol can cause heart disease.
The study authors recommend doctors encourage people to transition to a plant-based diet.