Vegetarians At Lower Diabetes, Heart Risk


NEW YORK, April 1, 2011 (Reuters): A new study finds that a meat-free diet seems to lower a person’s likelihood of having certain risk factors for diabetes or heart disease — and therefore may lower the risk of one day developing those illnesses.

Researchers measured a suite of factors — blood sugar, blood fats, blood pressure, waist size, and body mass – that when elevated add up to “metabolic syndrome,” and found that vegetarians were lower than non-vegetarians on all counts except cholesterol. Having metabolic syndrome puts people at a greater risk of developing diabetes or heart disease in the future.

In the study, 23 out of every 100 vegetarians were found to have at least three metabolic syndrome factors, compared with thirty-nine out of every 100 non-vegetarians and 37 out of every 100 semi-vegetarians.

“I was expecting there should be a difference,” said Nico Rizzo of Loma Linda University, the lead researcher on the study. “But I didn’t expect that it would be that much.” Rizzo and his colleagues analyzed the diet, health and lifestyles of more than 700 adults.

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