Nutrition: Vegetarians may have lower risk of heart disease and diabetes
I already consider myself a semi-vegetarian, as I eat fish, eggs and the occasional meat meal. But the results of
I already consider myself a semi-vegetarian, as I eat fish, eggs and the occasional meat meal. But the results of a study released last week are making me think about adding even more non-meat meals to my week.
According to the findings of a study published in the journal Diabetes Care (published by the American Diabetes Association), vegetarians have a 36 percent lower incidence of metabolic syndrome than non-vegetarians, Metabolic syndrome is a combination of risk factors, including a large waist circumference and high blood pressure, as well as increased blood sugar and triglycerides (blood fat) levels. It may affect 20% or more of adult Canadians says the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada. As metabolic syndrome can be a precursor of diabetes, heart disease and stroke, the findings indicate vegetarians may be at lower risk of developing these serious conditions.
This study, done at Loma Linda University in California, showed that while 25 percent of vegetarians had metabolic syndrome, the number rises significantly to 37 percent for semi-vegetarians and 39 percent for non-vegetarians. On average, the vegetarians and semi-vegetarians studied were three years older than the non-vegetarians. But despite this age difference, the vegetarians had lower triglycerides, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, waist circumference and body mass index (BMI). Semi-vegetarians also had a significantly lower BMI and waist circumference compared to those who ate meat more regularly, according to a press release.
Personally, I found it interesting that being semi-vegetarian turned out to have results much closer to a mixed diet than to being vegetarian (I expected the opposite). With that in mind, do you have any favourite vegetarian dinner suggestions you would like to share?