• Maria Pfund, Nutritional Consultant

Healthier Heart with Vegetarian Diet

Eating a vegetarian diet provides many health benefits, but today, let us focus on heart conditions. According to a study published by the Journal Metabolism (BBC News, 2002), eating more vegetables and soy-based products could be as effective as medication at reducing cholesterol, but with the added benefit of no side effects. Researchers in Canada state that the vegetarian combination diet which includes vegetables, such as broccoli and red peppers, soy milk and soy sausages, oat bran cereal and bread, and fruit and nuts, cuts cholesterol by almost a third in just one month (BBC News, 2002). According to Professor Jenkins and colleagues as cited by BBC News (2002) A typical day on the diet includes:

  • A breakfast of soy milk, oat bran cereal with chopped fruit and almonds, oatmeal bread, vegetable-based margarine and jam;

  • a lunch of soy cold cuts, oat bran bread, bean soup and fruit; and

  • A stir-fry dinner with vegetables, tofu, fruit and almonds.

Even if one does not feel like eating the suggested diet, just eating individually soy protein, nuts and fiber like oats and barley daily can cut cholesterol by up to 7%.

Take-Home Message

Eat up your veggies and you could keep your heart healthy for the long run, or heal it if conditions such as high cholesterol are affecting it. The more vegetarian food you eat, the better!


BBC News. (2002, December 15). BBC NEWS | Health | Vegetarian diet 'cuts heart risk'. Retrieved from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2526891.stm

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