Heart attack: Vegan diet may lower blood pressure and cholesterol to prevent disease

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Dr Alona Pulde said switching to a “whole, plant-based food” can offer multiple health benefits. Otherwise known as a vegan diet, adhering to such a diet will lead to improved heart health. Dr Pulde explained: “Heart health will begin to improve with a reduction in blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

“These changes also start to happen in the first week [of following a vegan diet] and [will] continue over time.”

Dr Pulde added: “Weight loss is something else that starts soon after transitioning to a healthy plant-based diet.

“This is because plant foods are more dilute in calories and the high nutrient density, fiber and water content.

“[This all] helps regulate our hunger cues to appropriately signal satiety so we don’t overeat.”

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By reducing the risk factors associated with heart disease – high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity – the risk of having a heart attack is significantly reduced.

Other health benefits include normalized blood sugar levels, better skin health, reduced inflammation, better circulation, and a healthier microbiome.

Dr Pulde said: “Research shows that a plant-based diet is beneficial in supporting the development of a more diverse and stable microbiome to better support our digestive system.

“Additionally, since most of the body’s immune cells live in the gut, having a robust microbiome helps support the optimal health of our immune system.”

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By reducing the risk factors associated with heart disease – high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity – the risk of having a heart attack is significantly reduced.

Other health benefits include normalized blood sugar levels, better skin health, reduced inflammation, better circulation, and a healthier microbiome.

Dr Pulde said: “Research shows that a plant-based diet is beneficial in supporting the development of a more diverse and stable microbiome to better support our digestive system.

“Additionally, since most of the body’s immune cells live in the gut, having a robust microbiome helps support the optimal health of our immune system.”

For example, smoking is a “significant” risk factor for heart disease.

“The harmful substances in tobacco can damage and narrow your blood vessels,” the National Health Service explained.

A family history of heart disease is also a risk factor, although this cannot be changed.

People who have a close relative, such as a parent or sibling, who was diagnosed with heart disease before age 55 are at increased risk of contracting the disease.

In the UK, heart disease is also more common among people of South Asian and African or Caribbean descent.

Men are also more likely to develop heart disease at an earlier age than women.

Although some risk factors cannot be changed, those that are modifiable can help save your life if you get them under control.

Dr. Alona Pulde supports Lifetime, a leading global nutrition app.