The Vegetarian Diet and Mediterranean Diet Are Both Heart Healthy

Sharon Palmer

The Mediterranean diet is one of the most widely researched diet patterns on the planet, with a wide variety of health benefits attributed to it, including lower risks of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and more. Added to that list of diet patterns is the vegetarian diet now, as it is increasingly being researched for health benefits. In fact, Mediterranean and vegetarian diet patterns are both heart healthy eating plans, which can promote safe, effective weight loss, while reducing the risk for heart disease at the same time, according to a new study. Italian researchers used a cohort of 107 healthy but overweight individuals, ages 18 to 75, and found that participants on either a low-calorie vegetarian diet or a low-calorie Mediterranean diet lost nearly 4 pounds of weight overall and almost 3 pounds of body fat, and had similar reductions in body mass index. The findings in the journal Circulation also showed that the vegetarian diet was more effective at LDL cholesterol reduction, while the Mediterranean diet resulted in larger declines in triglyceride levels.

This matches up with the current recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines that both the Mediterranean diet and the vegetarian diet are one of three healthy eating patterns worth adopting for overall health and wellness.

Read more about the study here.

Check out my top tips for adopting a plant-based lifestyle. For more nutrition reports on plant-based living, check out:

Antioxidant-Rich Diet Fights Diabetes
Plant Foods Fight Rheumatoid Arthritis
U.S. Falls Short on Fruits and Vegetables

Image: Mediterranean Edamame Quinoa Bowl, Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN

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