Plant-centered diets are associated with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease in middle age, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Researchers compared diet quality with cardiovascular incidence rates in participants from the CARDIA (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults) prospective study. Diets with higher intakes of plant foods and limited intake of high-fat animal products scored higher than other diets. Long-term adherence to a plant-centered diet lowered the risk for heart disease by 52%. Increased adherence to a plant-based diet from an early age lowered the risk for heart disease by 61% through middle age. Nutrients found in plant foods reduce oxidation, lower inflammation, decrease low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and improve other health outcomes associated with lower heart disease risk.
Choi Y, Larson N, Steffen LM, et al. Plant-centered diet and risk of incident cardiovascular disease during young to middle adulthood. J Am Heart Assoc. 2021;e020718. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.120.020718