Are Vegetarian and Vegan Diets Healthy?

2012-04-08_Vegan-mole

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I know why I started a vegan diet it was to help with my atherosclerosis in my arteries which has caused me to have open heart surgery and six years before that a heart attack. I guess what I really want to know is that going on a plant based diet is going to help me at least stop the progress of the disease and hopefully reverse some of it also. So I keep looking for studies to let me know it’s going to work. I came across the following which seems to say that it will.

Cancer Vegetarianism & Diet

The Lifestyle Heart Trial

The Lifestyle Heart Trial was a randomized clinical trial conducted from 1986 to 1992 (1). People with moderate to severe coronary heart disease were randomized to an intensive lifestyle change group or to a usual-care control group. The intensive lifestyle changes diet included a 10% fat, whole foods vegetarian diet (mostly vegan), aerobic exercise, stress management training, smoking cessation, and support groups. In the lifestyle changes group, the atherosclerosis in their arteries actually decreased 4.5% after one year and 7.9% after five years. In contrast, the atherosclerosis in the control group increased by 5.4% after one year and 27.7% after five years. Total cholesterol levels in the lifestyle diet group went from 225 mg/dl to 188 mg/dl after five years, and they had a 74% reduction in frequency of angina. Twenty-five cardiac events occurred in 28 lifestyle change patients vs. 45 events in 20 control group patients. This Lifestyle Heart Trial indicates that a whole foods vegetarian (and probably vegan) diet can be effective as part of a lifestyle change to reduce atherosclerosis and heart disease.

While this relates to vegetarian diets maybe it will be the same for a vegan diet. So far all the studies I have come across just mainly says vegetarian diets while some of the say vegetarian or vegan so am thinking that they mainly see the less meat eating as the most beneficial part of the diet.

Has it been Proven that a Vegetarian Diet is Really Healthier?

The British Medical Association (BMA) was first to shed light on the many benefits of a vegetarian diet in a 1986 report. Based on a large volume of research, it concluded that vegetarians not only tend to have lower cholesterol, but also significantly reduced instances of coronary heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, certain types of cancers, gall stones and large intestine disorders. Beginning in 1983, the China study, looked at 6,500 participants over the course of several years, documenting their dietary habits, lifestyles and health. This comprehensive study was a combined effort of the Chinese, United Kingdom and United States. The first results were made public in 1989, and were unequivocal. The less meat consumed, the lower the risk of developing common chronic diseases as noted above. The study also debunked the Western myth of promoting meat as a necessary source of iron. Among the largely vegetarian-based diets of the Chinese, the average vegetarian had twice the iron intake of the average U.S. citizen. The highly respected World Health Organization (WHO) offered their own findings on vegetarian and vegan diets in a 1991 report. WHO not only confirmed the results of the BMA and the China study, but also found that meat and dairy-rich diets promote other diseases as well, including osteoporosis or low bone density, and kidney failure. WHO went so far as to predict the cancer crisis the world now faces, based on the meat-rich dietary trends of Western nations. The report candidly faulted governments for public Dietary Guidelines that promote meat and dairy as necessary foods, urging more vegetarian-based policies where animal products are relegated to optional status

So it seems that eating a vegetarian or vegan diet is actually good for you and I’m all for eating more healthy and besides it is good tasting also. It did take a little while to get used to using almond milk in stead of regular milk but now I don’t know if I can go back to using regular milk again.What do you think about the vegan diet is it healthy or not?

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I decided to go on a vegan diet after watching Forks ove Knives and seeing how people had changed their health by eating a plant based diet. Having heart problems I thought this was a very good choice.


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