Plant-Based Diet Cuts Risk of Death from Heart Disease by 40%

We all know we need to eat our vegetables. Parents around the world have been asserting the “eat your vegetables” mantra in unison for decades. But, research is showing us that there is more reason than ever to eat your vegetables, and that eating a plant-based diet could even save your life.

A new study published in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases found that a plant-based diet slashes mortality risk from heart disease by a whopping 40 percent. Frankly, I’m not sure any drug can come close to competing with that. And, if a drug could reduce mortality risk by 40 percent, corporate executives would probably be boosting their profits to the tune of billions of dollars. But, humble legumes, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains and fruits don’t come with such claims and few doctors write prescriptions for these potent plant foods.

Perhaps that should change considering that over 85 million Americans are estimated to be suffering from some form of heart disease. According to the new research, eating a vegetarian diet could save the lives of over 34 million people, in the United States alone. Eating a plant-based diet is likely the single greatest thing you can do to boost your heart health and prevent a heart attack.

Before you assume you’d be eating nothing but iceberg lettuce salads with a few cucumber slices and some starchy tomatoes, you might want to leave that antiquated thinking behind. Today’s plant-based diets are packed with incredibly delicious foods. Just ask my husband, Curtis. When we met, he ate the Standard American Diet, with lots of pizza, burgers, fries and only the occasional iceberg lettuce salad, some cucumbers or carrots, and to really boost things up, some broccoli. But now he eats plentiful amounts of delicious plant-based food and I often overhear him telling people about how good the food is and how he prefers it over his previous fare.

It’s easier than you think to increase the number of plant-based foods in your diet. Here are some simple tips to help you get started:

1) Make vegetables the star of every meal. Rather than leave them relegated to side dishes, make them the main dish.

2) Get your hands on a good plant-based cookbook. The options here are endless, but keep in mind, not all plant-based cookbooks are primarily healthy food. Look for those that only include whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains and beans. Leave behind the ones that include packaged foods or contain unwanted ingredients like dairy or fake ingredients like artificial sweeteners or xanthan gum.

3) It’s easier to make the transition to plant-based if you start slowly and build your repertoire of delicious plant-based meals.

4) Have at least one large green salad every day. Start with a base of leafy greens like mesclun lettuce or baby spinach, then top it with cooked grains (like quinoa) or beans (like chickpeas), add a handful of raw, unsalted nuts like hazelnuts or chopped almonds, toss in a handful of sprouts like mung bean sprouts, and finish with a homemade dressing.

5) Master salad dressings, which can be used on raw green salads, be tossed over roasted vegetables, or used as a marinade for grain or bean dishes. The key is to use two parts oil (extra virgin olive oil is an excellent choice) to one part acid—either vinegar, such as apple cider vinegar or lemon or lime juice. Then add flavorings that can include either fruit, like raspberries or blueberries for a fruity vinaigrette. Or, choose a handful of fresh herbs and garlic, as well as a pinch of sea salt and pepper. Blend together with a hand blender or traditional blender and store in a covered jar.

6) If you still can’t imagine leaving meat behind, start with Meatless Mondays and then gradually add another meatless day to your week.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News, the Cultured Cook, co-founder of BestPlaceinCanada, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include the vegan cookbook: The Cultured Cook: Delicious Fermented Foods with Probiotics to Knock Out Inflammation, Boost Gut Health, Lose Weight & Extend Your Life.



Ingrid A
Ingrid A5 hours ago

Thank for this

Carole R
Carole R10 hours ago

Wow ...40%. Good information.

Peggy B
Peggy B16 hours ago


Ruth S
Ruth S2 days ago


Amanda M
Amanda M3 days ago

Thanks for sharing

Amanda M
Amanda M3 days ago

Thanks for sharing

Kathy G
Kathy G3 days ago

Thank you

Renata K
Renata K4 days ago

Thank you for sharing..

lori G
lori Gearhart4 days ago


June M
June M4 days ago

Thanks Michelle for sharing