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STUDY: Plant-based diets shown to lower blood pressure, even if you cheat a little

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Consumption of whole grains, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and fruit, as achieved in vegan and plant-based diets, could avert up to 1.7 million deaths globally every year.

UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK: Consuming a plant-based diet can lower blood pressure even if small amounts of meat and dairy are consumed too, according to new research from the University of Warwick… They argue that any effort to increase plant-based foods in your diet and limit animal products is likely to benefit your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart attacks, strokes and cardiovascular disease. They conducted a systematic review of previous research from controlled clinical trials to compare seven plant-based diets, several of which included animal products in small amounts, to a standardised control diet and the impact that these had on individuals’ blood pressure.

Vegetarian and vegan diets with complete absence of animal products are already known to lower blood pressure compared to omnivorous diets. Their feasibility and sustainability are, however, limited. Until now, it has not been known whether a complete absence of animal products is necessary in plant-based dietary patterns to achieve a significant beneficial effect on blood pressure… Plant-based diets support high consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, limiting the consumption of most or all animal products (mainly meat and diary)…

High blood pressure is the leading risk factor globally for heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases. A reduction in blood pressure has important health benefits both for individuals and for populations. Unhealthy diets are responsible for more deaths and disabilities globally than tobacco use, high alcohol intake, drug use and unsafe sex put together… An increased consumption of whole grains, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and fruit, as achieved in plant-based diets, could avert up to 1.7, 1.8, 2.5 and 4.9 million deaths globally respectively every year according to previous research. SOURCE…

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