There is increased risk of developing a heart disease in individuals with high blood cholesterol levels and other ailments such as high blood pressure and diabetes. The predominance of these risk factors in causing heart disease is very low in vegetarians. This is because of the impact of vegetarian diet they consume. Vegetarian diet is low in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. However, the benefits of vegetarian diet cannot be enjoyed by having a diet that is rich in calories.
Vegetarians have regulated levels of blood cholesterol levels. Even individuals with high cholesterol levels can cut down their levels by having pure vegetarian diet for a prolonged period of time. It is found that consumption of rye bread for about a month reduces the blood cholesterol levels to normal levels. Intake of herb named psyllium that is rich in fiber causes the blood cholesterol levels to drop by about four percent. Increased intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods also provides good amount of fiber to the body. In addition, these foods are rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are essential for maintaining perfect health.
Vegetarian diet also helps to regulate the blood pressure levels at optimum levels. Regular intake of pomegranates helps to maintain the blood pressure. Maintaining the blood cholesterol levels reduces the chances of having a stroke.
Due to lowered blood cholesterol levels, vegetarians are also at low risk of developing the problem of obesity which is a major risk factor for heart disease. The lean personality of the vegetarians also reduces the chances of suffering another major risk factor for heart disease and diabetes.
Having a vegetarian diet reduces the incidence of plaques in the arteries like atherosclerosis, a debilitating heart disease. Certain plant foods such as soy protein, garlic and purple grapes have antithrombotic factors that prevent formation of blood clots, the major cause for atherosclerosis.
The major benefit of having a vegetarian diet is due to having increased amounts of dietary fiber and lowered amounts of animal fat that is rich in high density lipoproteins that are bound to increase the blood cholesterol levels. However, to enjoy the benefits of a vegetarian diet, men should have control over their alcohol consumption.
To retain the nutritive value of vegetarian foods, it is essential to take certain measures while cooking. Reduce the use of oil that is rich in fats while cooking vegetables. Use cooking methods such as broiling, steaming and poaching to retain the nutritive value of the vegetarian foods. It is also essential to take fat free dairy products rather than completely cutting them to meet the calcium needs of the body.
In addition to following a healthy vegetarian diet, it is essential to take care while purchasing outside foods. Make it a habit to read the food labels before purchasing and avoid foods with high fat content. Even if you are dining out, choose foods that are low in fat.
By following a strict vegetarian diet and regular practice of simple workouts, you can easily overcome the heart diseases.