Eat Vegan And Prevent Heart Diseases

Eat Vegan And Prevent Heart Diseases

Today our guest blogger is Dr. Jupitor Chakma.

healthy saladThe numbers of vegetarians/vegans are increasing across the globe, including in many Western industrialized countries such as US, UK and other European countries.

In many countries such as India many people (significantly large percentage of population) are traditionally vegetarians and following vegan diet for centuries, before the idea of vegetarianism was known to Western people.

In India most vegetarians are not pure vegetarian in true sense, as they take milk and milk products such as curd, yoghurt and other food preparations where milk is used, such as different varieties of sweets, desserts and other dairy products.

Due to the several health benefits of eating vegetarian/vegan diet many people are opting for vegan diet. The health benefits of vegetarian diet in heart disease prevention, cancer prevention and obesity prevention is well-known.

The problem of heart diseases and the toll it takes on the health and economy of a nation is huge and heart diseases are the leading cause of death in most countries. It is prudent for us to know the heart disease prevention quality of vegan diet and practice it.

Plant Oils

Oils of plant origin contain high percentage of unsaturated fatty acids (poly unsaturated and mono unsaturated), which are considered as good, because they increase HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol in blood, which have protective action against heart disease (ischemic and non ischemic heart diseases).

Many drugs used in heart disease target to lower LDL (low density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol) and increase HDL. Examples of plant oils with high unsaturated fatty acids are olive oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, mustard oil, safflower oil etc.

The only vegetable oil with lower unsaturated fatty acids is coconut oil (and there are controversies regarding heart friendly nature of coconut oil).

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh fruits and vegetable are rich sources of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants all of which are essential for prevention of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart diseases etc.

Eating fresh fruits (and fresh vegetables such as salad) on a regular basis can reduce risk of heart disease and mortality from heart disease by a significant percentage and this has been proved in several studies across the globe.

Eating regular (preferably daily) and adequate quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables is as effective as doing regular aerobic physical exercise for preventing heart disease.

Nutritional Agents

There are several nutritional agents present in fruits and vegetables such as dietary fiber, several minerals (such as potassium, magnesium), carotenoids, phytosterols, flavonoids, antioxidants and most essential vitamins, all of which are protective for heart against cardiovascular diseases.

Colored vegetables and fruits (which most fruits and vegetables are) are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Eat vegetarian/vegan diet and reduce risk of heart disease. Alternately you can also eat adequate amount of fresh fruits and vegetables along with your regular diet, this also can reduce risk of heart diseases, although not as much as eating vegan diet.

Image: artemisphoto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About Author: A doctor and enthusiastic health blogger, who is eager to learn more about blogging. Dr. Jupitor Chakma, writes regularly on his Health Blog and Online Health Website. Visit these blogs for regular updates and to read more articles by this writer.

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About the Author

A doctor and enthusiastic health blogger, who is eager to learn more about blogging. Dr. Jupitor Chakma, writes regularly on his Health Blog and Online Health Website. Visit these blogs for regular updates and to read more articles by this writer.

15 Enlightened Replies

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  1. hearthealthydietguidelines says:

    I agree! Being vegan can give you multiple benefits aside from preventing your risk to heart diseases. My mom always (and never fails) to remind me to eat my veggies and I’ve never regretted following her reminders because I’m living a healthy life now.

  2. jan says:

    Hi Evelyn and Dr Jupitor
    I have a couple of comments. The first is that although a vegetarian diet is extremely heart healthy, for many, many people it just doesn’t suit. I have experienced it myself and spoken to many, people when I was studying nutrition who had tried to be vegetarian and they just didn’t thrive on the diet, neither did I and we all knew how to food combine properly. I do eat vegetarian foods regularly though and add chick peas and such to meat dishes to try to keep the meat consumption down.

    Secondly on fats. The “controversy” with coconut oil is that it was always considered a saturated fat as most fats that solidify are, but coconut oil is made up of medium chain fatty acids that are easily broken down when eaten. It is also anti-viral with many other health benefits which Evelyn covered in a recent post.

    There is a lot of controversy now over oils made from seeds – rapseed, soy, sunflower, safflower etc. If you eat too much of them in your diet, your body will use the fat from them to make cell walls. Because they have the double hydrogen bonds, they easily break down to oxidise, the cell walls weaken and this can lead to cancerous growths developing and other illnesses. We should eat flax seed (the only seed oil), and oils made from fruits and seeds – coconut oil, olive oil, macadamia nut oil etc. We also need to eat healthy saturated fats from coconut oil, butter, fish and animal fats (if people eat them) so that our cell walls can get the material they need to stay strong.

    • Hi Jan!

      Thanks for your comments.

      Everyone is different and one diet does not fit all.

      I stress to others that they eat more fruits and vegetables, which most don’t eat enough anyway. Getting them to eat more fruits and vegetables is a start in getting them to be aware of what they are putting in their bodies.

      Thanks for sharing the information about the oils. I only do flax seed and coconut oils, so I’m on the right track.

      You’re absolutely right about the cell walls, because the cell wall is made up of lipids and we need a certain amount to maintain cell wall integrity.

  3. Mehnaz says:

    Being vegeterian is not much easy . Specially for those who are eager to eat meat. However,to lead a healthy life
    it is a nice solution. Indian’s are traditionally vegeterian,so it won’tbe a big deal for us.Just go through it…

    However,eating fresh fruits and vegetables on a regular basis will help us to get over the heart disease.Coconut oil, Plant oil really works like medicine in heart disease.

    Thanks to the writer for giving me such an informative post .Please keep it up..

  4. Hi Jupitor,

    Thank you for this guest post!

    I didn’t know that a large percentage of India ate a vegetarian diet.

    This way of eating is especially good for the health. I’m sure you are aware of the former U.S. President Clinton’s switch to a vegan diet, because of his health (heart condition). I’m glad Clinton came forward with this, because just maybe it will encourage others to make some changes.

    Take care,

    Evelyn

  5. Sean says:

    Hi Dr. Jupitor and Evelyn,

    This is such a helpful list. My friend told me that coconut oil used for cooking is not healthy but I don’t really have proof to that. I just avoid it though to make sure. Olive oil is a bit expensive compared to coconut oil but I think its worth our money because of the health benefits.

    • Hi Sean!

      Thanks for commenting!

      I’ve read that coconut oil is good, but then again, like Jupitor mentions in this post, there are controversies about this.

    • Your friend told you coconut oil is not good for health, because coconut oil have lower unsaturated fats and higher saturated fats (unlike most vegetable oils). I also think there are better oils than coconut oil.

  6. Stephanie says:

    LOVING your blog!! i tried being vegan for a month and it was one of the hardest things i have ever done! LoL

    i also just started a new fitness blog! it is my passion so please let me know what you think & please show me some love!!

    http://infinitelifefitness.com/

    • HI Stephanie,

      Welcome to my blog and thank you for the compliment!

      I totally understand, but it was good that you gave it a try.

      Your blog looks good. You have some very good post entries so far. Nice and clean design. I’ll stop by to comment too.

      Best wishes in the world of blogging!

      Evelyn

  7. Thanks for liking my post, do visit again for new posts.

  8. Thanks for stopping by and connecting on bloggers.

    Take care,

    Evelyn

  9. Jupitor says:

    Yes you can add milk and yogurt to your diet and prevent deficiencies sch as vitamin B12, which is common among pure vegans as it is not present in most plant foods.

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