Heart Disease and Plant-Based Diets

Heart disease is a term used to describe several conditions that affect the heart and entire cardiovascular system.

Some of these conditions include:

  • Coronary Heart Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Stroke
  • Arrhythmia

Research indicates that cardiovascular diseases (CVD’s) are the leading cause of death in contemporary America so it makes sense that we’ve put more effort into finding ways of preventing these conditions (Mayo Clinic).

Some of the measures that have been undertaken include the emphasis on embracing the WFPB diets lifestyle. This lifestyle involves the consumption of vegetables, fruits, nut, legumes, wholegrain, potatoes, etc. with minimally processed food and animal products.

Heart Disease

Studies conducted in the USA have concluded that some of the significant causes of heart disease can be prevented altogether by regulation of diet.

For instance one significant cause of heart disease is high bad cholesterol levels. In order to reduce the accumulation of cholesterol in the bloodstream, we reduce cholesterol intake by consuming more plant-based foods like vegetables which contain low bad cholesterol levels unlike food from animal products which are the major causes of bad cholesterol in the body (Health line).

Maintaining this diet over time would ensure low cholesterol levels in the body and prevent heart disease like hypertension.

Cholesterol

The Relationship between plant-based diets and heart disease revolves around obesity and diabetes since they are some of the major contributing factors to cardiovascular diseases.

For instance, fats from animal products often tend to be saturated which the body has a more difficult time with in the break-down process.

Eventually, the body will deposit some of these fats in the body which ultimately contributes to high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL)- or bad cholesterol.

The development of high LDL’s eventually leads to heart disease. This can be prevented, or at the very least, you can lower your risk of developing heart disease by consuming a lot of plants and their non-processed products, which have been found to contain other forms of fat like Polyunsaturated Fat and Monounsaturated fat which your body ultimately needs.

These plant fats are often easy to break down in the system and further contributed to the formation of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which helps remove high cholesterol in the body. So, it follows that adhering to a plant-based diet can help you to maintain a healthy weight thus preventing obesity and also clearing of clogged blood vessels thus eventually preventing heart disease (Better Health Channel).

Type II (Diabetes)

Individuals suffering from obesity as a result of high body fat content are often susceptible to type II diabetes. They often lose their sensitivity to insulin resulting in chronically high blood sugar levels.

This condition, if left untreated over time, has the potential and power to cause severe damage to arterial walls which can lead to the development of cardiovascular heart disease.

This condition could, however, be prevented with proper diet observation by emphasizing the consumption of major plant-based products such as natural sugar directly from plants like Stevia or Coconut Sugar or sweetener made from Monk Fruit, and not processed and refined Cane Sugar (Harvard Medical School). Hence heart disease is greatly associated with plant-based diets.

Heart disease is related to whole-food plant-based diets in how a whole-food plant-based diet can impact your overall heart health and susceptibility to chronic lifestyle diseases. Some of these include the prevention of heart disease by controlling your consumption of fats in your nutritional lifestyle.

For instance, plant fats are unsaturated and thus healthy for the body since they prevent obesity, development of type II diabetes, and blood vessel blockage, which ultimately contribute to heart disease, unlike unhealthy saturated animal fats, which contributed to heat disease.

Therefore many individuals should be advised to adopt the WFPB lifestyle since it helps in the prevention of heart disease.

 


References
https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/heart-disease-and-food

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-right-plant-based-diet-for-you

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20353118

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/plant-based-diet-guide