Two Healthy Diets Equally Good for Your Heart

Two Healthy Diets Equally Good for Your Heart

Two eating plans -- a vegetarian diet that includes eggs and dairy, and the Mediterranean diet -- protect your heart equally, a new study shows.

Mental Health Does Not Come With A Manual, It Comes With Friends & Family Support That Never Gives Up!
Join now

The research included 107 healthy but overweight people, aged 18 to 75, who ate either a low-calorie vegetarian diet that included dairy and eggs, or a low-calorie Mediterranean diet, for three months.

The Mediterranean diet included poultry, fish and some red meat, as well as fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains. After three months, the participants switched diets. Most participants were able to stay on both diets.

On either diet, participants lost about 3 pounds of body fat and about 4 pounds of weight overall. They also had similar decreases in body mass index (BMI), an estimate of body fat based on height and weight.

There were two notable differences between the diets, though. The vegetarian diet was more effective at reducing LDL ("bad") cholesterol, while the Mediterranean diet led to larger declines in triglycerides, which increase the risk for heart attack and stroke.

The study was published Feb. 26 in the journal Circulation.

The "take-home message of our study is that a low-calorie lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet can help patients reduce cardiovascular risk about the same as a low-calorie Mediterranean diet," said study lead author Dr. Francesco Sofi. He's a professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Florence and Careggi University Hospital in Italy.

"People have more than one choice for a heart-healthy diet," Sofi said in a journal news release.

The two diets are similar in many ways, which may explain why they're equally effective at reducing heart disease risk, Cheryl Anderson wrote in an accompanying commentary. She's an associate professor of preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego.

The Internet's Most Trusted Source For Mental Health Information
Sign up

Both diets feature "a healthy dietary pattern rich in fruits and vegetables, legumes [beans], whole grains and nuts; focusing on diet variety, nutrient density and appropriate amount of food; and limiting energy intake from saturated fats," Anderson noted.

More information

The American Heart Association has more on healthy eating.


Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.


Related Content

Freedom From OCD: An Original Series on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Freedom From OCD: An Original Series on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

It is estimated over 1.2% of the adult population wrestles with Obsessive-Compul...

Read more
Freedom From OCD - Official Trailer
Freedom From OCD - Official Trailer

An original 6-episode series on obsessive-compulsive disorder, available instant...

Read more
A Young Mother's Addiction Led To Death & Her Obituary Struck An International Chord
A Young Mother's Addiction Led To Death & Her Obituary Struck An International Chord

Madelyn Ellen Linsenmeir died on Sunday, October 7. While her death was unexpect...

Read more
Why Are Children In Class Being Wrongly Labelled As Having ADHD So Frequently?
Why Are Children In Class Being Wrongly Labelled As Having ADHD So Frequently?

Parents worried about their child falling behind academically because they are b...

Read more
The Real Causes Of Anxiety & Depression Might Not Be What You Think
The Real Causes Of Anxiety & Depression Might Not Be What You Think

Across the Western world today, if you are depressed or anxious and you go to yo...

Read more
Companies Are Opening Their Doors To Talent With Autism
Companies Are Opening Their Doors To Talent With Autism

Twenty-seven-year-old Christopher Pauley thought he had it all figured out when ...

Read more