Not eating animal flesh is good for your soul—and your heart, according to new research showing that vegetarians have a 32 percent lower risk of hospitalization or death from heart disease than people who eat meat and fish.
Heart disease is the single largest cause of death in America, responsible for nearly 600,000 deaths in 2011. This new study from the University of Oxford, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that a vegetarian diet can make the difference between life and death for humans—and animals used as food.
Vegetarians had lower blood pressures and cholesterol levels than non-vegetarians, which is thought to be the main reason behind their reduced risk of heart disease, according to Dr. Dr. Francesca Crowe, lead researcher of the largest study ever conducted in the UK comparing heart disease rates between vegetarians and meat-eaters.
These new findings reinforce the idea that diet is central to prevention of heart disease, and build on previous research looking at the influence of vegetarian diets.
Animals processed as food endure some of the most heinous forms of animal abuse. Reducing factory farming and animals used as food would go a long way to improve the lives of countless animals from torture. Humans are not known for their altruism when it comes to animals, but maybe more people will consider vegetarianism because it can extend their own life span.
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