A Vegetarian Diet May Help Improve Your Cholesterol, Blood Sugar Levels and Lead to Weight Loss

A Mediterranean-style dietAccording to the American Heart Association, Trusted Source has long been connected with good heart health. However, a review of past research According to Trusted Source(Meta-Analysis), a vegetarian diet may help people lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol, help with blood sugar levels(Sugar Killer), and drop body weight(Weight Loss Product) in high-risk patients.

How diet can impact your health

The recommendations of the American Heart Association A diet based on minimally processed plant foods, fish, seafood, and low-fat dairy is a reliable source for a balanced eating pattern. The meta-analysis examined 20 randomized controlled studies that investigated the role of a vegetarian diet in the prevention of cardiovascular disease in the general population.

“Using randomized clinical trials, this study aims to discuss the relationship between a plant-based diet and cardiometabolic risk factors,” said Jenna Litt, a registered dietitian at Northwell Lenox Hill Hospital who was not involved in the study. “This study is unique in that it focuses on different types of vegetarian diets, such as vegan versus lacto-ovo-vegetarian.”

The researchers were able to include 20 papers from all of the studies that they reviewed, with sample sizes ranging from 28 to 64 and study durations ranging from 2 to 24 months. The findings of this study revealed that vegetarian diets were connected with lower LDL-C or “bad” cholesterol levels after six months. It also resulted in lower body weight(Weight Loss Poduct) and better HbA1c (a blood sugar measurement). It found no correlation between plant-based diets and systolic blood pressure.

This suggests that someone at high risk of cardiovascular disease may benefit from introducing vegetarian habits into their diet.

“Based on this study, there is a clear relationship between a plant-based diet and a reduction in cardiometabolic risk,” Litt stated. “Thus, in the future, those at higher cardiometabolic risk may benefit from experimenting with a modified plant-based diet.”

A modified plant-based diet is eating plant-based one to two times each week to test if weight(Weight Loss Product), HbA1c, or LDL cholesterol levels improve.

Not all vegetarian diets are the same.

Before starting a vegetarian or plant-based diet, it’s crucial to understand what that entails.

“I’m frustrated with the term vegetarian,’ because it doesn’t imply that people are choosing a healthy diet,” said Christopher D. Gardner, Ph.D., chair of the American Heart Association’s Lifestyle Nutrition Committee and Rehnborg Farquhar Professor of Medicine at Stanford University in Stanford, California. “As a term, I prefer a whole-food, plant-based diet.”

Gardner did a study in 2005Trusted Source that looked at two low-fat diets that both fulfilled the American Heart Association’s standards. Stanford University’s Lifestyle Nutrition Committee and the Rehnborg Farquhar Professor of Medicine at Stanford, California. “As a term, I prefer a whole-food, plant-based diet.”

One included Snackwell cookies, skinless chicken, and light margarine mashed potatoes, while the other included a spinach salad with an egg, whole grain bread with butter, and lentil soup with cheddar. The convenience food low-fat diet reduced LDL by 5% in that trial. The second diet, consisting of whole foods, reduced LDL cholesterol by 10%.

“Our message to doctors was that they couldn’t just say ‘low fat’ when prescribing a diet.” “It’s the same with the word vegetarian,” he added.

Patients with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and at least two cardiovascular risk factors were included in the meta-analysis research. Vegan, lacto-ovo-vegetarian, and facto-vegetarian diets were the most generally prescribed. Those who followed a vegetarian diet for six months compared to reference diets showed significantly higher declines in LDL-C, A1c, and body weight(Weight Loss Product), but not in systolic blood pressure.

“Given the lack of effect on blood pressure, I would investigate the quality of the vegetarian diet.” Was it feasible that they were fed convenience food vegetarian meals high in salt, as many packaged foods do? “Perhaps the foods were salted, which is why the blood pressure did not drop,” Gardner speculated.

“It is important to remember that if you plan to start a plant-based diet, it may require additional research on the correct products to purchase, as there are many processed/packaged goods that brand themselves as plant-based, but tend to be higher in sodium, sugar, or cholesterol,” Litt added.

“The results [in the meta-analysis] are quite reasonable but fairly predictable,” Gardner observed. “A vegetarian diet contains more fiber and less saturated fat, which lowers LDL cholesterol.” Your blood pressure will drop if you consume less sodium. Your weight(Weight Loss Product) will decrease if you consume less sugar and refined carbs. It’s good that the studies have all been combined, but it’s just reiterating what we already knew.”


According to a meta-analysis, persons who follow a vegetarian diet may notice considerable benefits in lowering LDL or “bad” cholesterol, controlling blood sugar levels, and losing weight(Weight Loss Product).

This is how we reviewed the article:

Our experts examine the health and wellness field regularly, and we update our articles as new information becomes available.

Current Version

Jul 28, 2023

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