Milken research links vegetarian diet with lower risk of heart disease, diabetes

Researchers at the Milken Institute School of Public Health found that South Asians living in the United States had a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes when they ate a vegetarian diet, according to a press release Monday.

Sameera Talegawkar, an associate professor of exercise and nutritional sciences, led a team that found South Asians who didn’t eat meat generally had a lower body mass index, cholesterol level and blood sugar level than a similar group that did eat meat.

The research mounts on similar studies that associate plant-based diets with health benefits.

Brazilian researchers found recently that people who regularly ate plant-based protein were roughly 60 percent less likely than meat-eaters to accumulate plaque in the heart’s arteries, according to the release.

Another study from Dutch researchers showed that vegetarians exemplified a lower risk of developing coronary heart disease than their meat-eating counterparts, the release states.

All three findings were presented Sunday at a national nutrition conference.

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