More and more people decide to deprive themselves of meat and other animal products for ethical and environmental reasons, in particular. On paper, we can not give them wrong. The animal condition, a victim of slaughter quotas, can not be respected. A few weeks ago, a study also revealed that how humanity feeds must change radically, right now if we want to avoid “catastrophic” damage to the planet. The impact on the health of switching to a vegetarian/vegan diet is still poorly understood. Tammy Tong, Oxford University (UK), therefore addressed the issue. The details of the study are published in the British Medical Journal.
Fewer heart diseases
The researcher and her team have followed 48,000 people in the UK for 18 years. After taking into account several factors, such as education, smoking, alcohol or exercise level, researchers realized that moving to a meat-free diet reduced the risk by 22%. to develop heart disease. This, they say, maybe related to lower cholesterol levels than carnivores.
More stroke in vegetarians?
The study raises yet another important point, which many preferred to place in the headline. It was also apparent that choosing a vegetarian diet was associated with a 20% higher risk of stroke. Tammy Tong weighs these numbers. She notes that during the study period, vegetarians recorded 10 cases of cardiopathy in 1000 less than carnivores, but only three cases of stroke over 1000 more than the others. The risk of stroke must, therefore, be put in perspective, since its increase remains modest. While heart risks are now well established among meat consumers.
It also notes that these risks of cerebrovascular accidents could be explained by vitamin B12 deficiency, which is only found in animal products. This deficiency can be easily avoided. By eating three servings of fortified foods a day or by taking dietary supplements. In other words, with a vegetarian diet that includes all the essential nutrients, these risks could quickly disappear. Thomas Sanders of King’s College London notes that it is necessary to remember that vegetarian diets are right for you only if they are well balanced.