About Heart Disease
The heart is the hardest working muscle in the body, pumping blood, oxygen, and nutrients to all the body’s organs. Eating animal-based foods impairs the heart’s ability to do its job. Meat and dairy products are high in cholesterol and saturated fat. As these fatty substances, or “plaques,” build up inside the walls of arteries, blood flow to all areas of the body is impeded. When too little blood reaches various regions of the body, normal immune systems are impaired, setting people up for a number of diseases, most notably heart disease.
Most heart disease is diet-related and caused by consuming animal products. Research shows a highly significant correlation between the consumption of even small amounts of animal-based foods and the increasing prevalence of heart disease. A major study published in February 2005 reconfirmed the link between meat consumption and heart problems. The study, which was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, concluded that among the 29,000 participants, those who ate the most meat were also at the greatest risk for heart disease. The researchers also reported that a high intake of protein from vegetable sources like tofu, nuts, and beans lowers our risk of heart disease by 30 percent. Dr. Linda E. Kelemen, the scientist who headed the study, told reporters, “Not all proteins are equal”. While vegetable protein can help keep our hearts healthy, eating animal protein can put us in an early grave.
According to the Center for Disease Control, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. During the past 30 years, Dr. Dean Ornish and his colleagues have conducted a series of scientific studies demonstrating that the progression of even severe coronary heart disease can often be reversed by exercise, stress management and diet changes, specifically, switching to a whole-food, plant-based diet. Interestingly, when subjects were put on modified diets which allowed chicken and fish, their heart disease progressed.
Additional information about heart disease: