Plant-based diets lower the risk of death from heart disease by up to 19 percent, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Researchers compared four dietary patterns among middle-aged adults and tracked mortality rates. Diets that included more plant foods received higher ratings than those that included more animal products. Higher adherence to a plant-based diet resulted in a lower risk for heart disease and up to a 25 percent lower risk of all-cause mortality and 19 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, compared with lower levels of adherence. Higher intakes of fiber and micronutrients and lower intakes of processed meat and saturated fat on a plant-based diet may account for the decreased risk of death.