Vegan diet ‘may reduce heart disease risk’

27 May 2014

In addition to weight loss, a low-carbohydrate vegan diet could also reduce the risk of heart disease by ten per cent over a decade, according to researchers at St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto.

Low-carbohydrate diets are often linked to weight loss, but they stress the need to eat animal proteins and fat, which raises cholesterol. 

Conversely, diets high in vegetable proteins and oils are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, as it can lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), often referred to as “bad cholesterol”.

Dr David Jenkins, lead author of the study, explained: "We killed two birds with one stone – or, rather, with one diet. We designed a diet that combined both vegan and low-carb elements to get the weight loss and cholesterol-lowering benefits of both."

Findings compared the low-carbohydrate vegan diet - Eco-Atkins - to one with a low-fat and high carbohydrate intake. 

Researchers discovered that the Eco-Atkins diet was able to reduce cholesterol by ten per cent, while also helping participants lose an average of four pounds more than those following the other diet over a six month period.

Dr Jenkins, who follow a vegan diet himself, said he would expect similar results in real world situations as those in the study were able to select their own diets and could adjust these to suit their needs and preferences.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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