Veganism, Quality Matters
According to her research, which was published in the Harvard Medical School's Harvard Health Publishing in 2017, people who followed a healthy plant-based diet had the lowest risk of heart disease, with their bodies also looking a lot leaner.
This included eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and healthy oils.
But those who followed an unhealthy plant-based diet — fruit juices, refined grains, fries and sugar-sweetened beverages — had a substantially higher risk of heart disease.
"While this study didn't look at which animal foods, especially meat, could have an impact on heart health, other research has shown that, as with plant foods, the type and amount matter most," Dr Satija said in the report.
"For instance, a study in the January 2017 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found eating three ounces of unprocessed red meat three times per week did not worsen blood pressure and total cholesterol levels."
However, Dr Satija explained a study from the American Heart Association showed men aged 45 to 79 who ate 75g or more per day of processed red meat, like cold cuts, sausage, bacon, and hot dogs, had a 28 per cent higher risk of heart failure compared with men who ate less than 25 grams.
"Now while veganism does have its benefits, it can also change your intake of protein quite considerably, and as such, it is not simply a matter of cutting out the meat and dairy from your diet."