Nutri-war! Eating vegetables may not protect your heart, claims study

Published on: 22 February 2022, 13:09 pm IST

Experts have always sung along to the benefits of vegetables for heart health. However, this study may make vegetable haters rejoice!

Shifa Khan
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vegetables for heart
Heart health may not boost due to eating vegetables, claims study. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Our country, India, is widely on a vegetarian diet. We not only take pride in our locally grown produce but absolutely love our staple dinner menu of subzi and roti. However, a new study on vegetables has left us startled. The new findings published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition state that eating vegetables doesn’t have any effect on heart disease risk. These findings are unlikely to support the popular belief that eating vegetables for heart health is a good practice.

Almost 50% of women in India reportedly live with an abnormal cholesterol level, which immediately shifts our focus to a vegetarian diet. However, the study says that eating vegetables, especially steamed and cooked, has no effect on reducing cholesterol and improving health. The study involved studying the diets of nearly 400,000 UK adults.

Surprising study on the relation between vegetables and heart health:

Qi Feng, an epidemiologist at the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford, said in a statement, “Our large study did not find evidence for a protective effect of vegetable intake on the occurrence of CVD (cardiovascular disease).”

While the study may have sidelined the importance of cooked vegetables for heart health, it supported the consumption of raw vegetables. Not to forget, these diet changes do nothing favorable if accompanied by smoking, drinking and lack of physical activity.

broccoli
Green vegetables are always associated with goof heart health ! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“Instead, our analysis shows that the seemingly protective effect of vegetable intake against cardiovascular disease risk is very likely to be accounted for by bias related to differences in socio-economic situation and lifestyle,” Feng said.
However, this study made nutritionists oppose the findings.

Here’s what Nutritionist have to say:

Shikha Aggarwal Sharma, Nutritionist and Founder of Fat to Slim spoke to HealthShots taking exception to the results of this study.

“I don’t entirely agree that vegetables don’t contribute to better heart health. What we consume makes or breaks our health. Leafy greens and all fresh veggies are essential for staying healthy and fit. I agree that your lifestyle, stress level, and modus operandi all play a factor in your health. However, your dietary habits, particularly consuming light, fresh, and green vegetables, helps to nourish the body. It also detoxifies it naturally, and establishes positive habits. It maintains and balances the body’s hormonal and chemical compounds, all of which help to lower heart risk.

heart disease and exercise
Lifestyle factors like quitting smoking and working out may improve heart health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

For the uninitiated, a heart attack may happen when the blood flow, carrying oxygen to the heart muscle, is obstructed or reduced due to any blockage or severely narrowing of the arteries. Some common symptoms of heart failure may include nausea, upper body pain, chest pain, breathlessness, breaking out in a cold sweat, or dizziness.

With the spike in the number of young women getting heart diseases, there is an urgent need for women to make healthy diet and lifestyle changes. And to be honest, eating just the vegetables may not shield you against cardiovascular diseases.

Shifa Khan Shifa Khan

An aesthete and a skincare junkie, Shifa spends most of her time cooking delish food while wearing a sheet mask. At HealthShots, she creates high-octane content that can leave you all a little intrigued!

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