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Eating a plant-based dinner reduces the risk of heart disease

Eating a plant-based dinner could reduce the risk of heart disease by ten percent, according to a new study from the Endocrine Society. The researchers found that people who eat too many refined carbs and fatty meats at dinner have a greater chance of developing heart disease than those who eat the same type of foods for breakfast.

Congestive heart failure, heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death. The World Health Organization reports that 17.9 million people die each year from cardiovascular disease, which accounts for 31 percent of all deaths worldwide. 

The risk of developing cardiovascular disease is higher among people who regularly consume saturated fat, processed meats, and added sugar. By contrast, eating a heart-healthy diet with more vegetables and grains and less meat can significantly offset the risk of cardiovascular disease.

“Meal timing along with food quality are important factors to consider when looking for ways to lower your risk of heart disease. Our study found people who eat a plant-based dinner with more whole carbs and unsaturated fats reduced their risk of heart disease by ten percent,” said study co-author Ying Li of the Harbin Medical University. 

The researchers analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) involving 27,911 adults in the United States. Dietary information had been collected during interviews with the participants over two non-consecutive days. 

The team compared the participants’ rates of heart disease with eating various fats, carbohydrates, and proteins at breakfast or dinner. The data revealed that eating a plant-based dinner correlated with a 10 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

“It’s always recommended to eat a healthy diet, especially for those at high risk for heart disease, but we found that eating meat and refined carbs for breakfast instead of dinner was associated with a lower risk,” said Li.

The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

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