Vegetarian and vegan diets may lower cholesterol levels

Photo of a plate filled with healthy vegetarian food

A new study confirms that eating mostly plant-based foods may lower blood levels of harmful fats.

For this study, the researchers pooled the results of 30 trials published over the past 40 years, involving a total of about 2,400 people. All participants were placed on either a vegetarian diet (including dairy and eggs but no meat), a vegan diet (excluding all animal products), or an omnivorous diet (including meat and dairy). assigned randomly. The average length of the diet was 29 weeks. Compared to people on an omnivorous diet, people practicing a vegetarian or vegan diet had levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and apolipoprotein B that each decreased from levels measured at the start of the diet. 7%, 10% and 14% drops on average. study. (Apolipoprotein B, like other artery-clogging lipoproteins in the blood, is a particle found on LDL.)

Plant-forward diets tend to be higher in healthy unsaturated fats, but lower in saturated fat, cholesterol and total fat, which may explain this finding. The study was published online on May 24, 2023. European Heart Journal.

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