Vegetarianism can help reduce the risk of CVD by 24% and the lowered risk is more common for those who have followed the diet for five years or longer and started practicing a vegetarian diet at a younger age. The risks for CVD is lower due to the lower levels of LDL cholesterol in vegetarians, as well as lower BMI’s and a low blood pressure which results in reduced risk for hypertension. It was also found that whole grain consumption is associated with lower incidence of cardiac disease in addition to legumes having an impact on cardiovascular health, although whole grains have a more positive impact than legumes. The higher intake of fruits and vegetables that is assumed with vegetarianism helps to protect against CVD as well because they provide phytochemicals, antioxidants and fiber to the diet. Nuts also protect against CVD by shielding against inflammation and the oxidation of lipids while providing various vitamins and minerals high in antioxidants. People who practice a vegetarian diet are also at a decreased risk for high blood pressure. With this diet, systolic and diastolic blood pressures are lower. People who practice vegetarianism in some form are also 75% less likely to be treated for hypertension. BG.
Marsh, K., Zeuschner, C., & Saunders, A. (2012). Health implications of a vegetarian diet: A review. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 6(3), 250-267.