Tags: vegetarian | diets | healthier | blacks | meat

Vegetarian Diets Keep Blacks Healthier Than Eating Meat, Study Shows

Thursday, 24 April 2014 02:03 PM

A new study found that African-Americans with vegetarian diets are healthier than their meat-eating peers.

The Loma Linda University long-term health study, funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in the Public Health Nutrition journal, found that out of 26,000 black Seventh-day Adventists, those with vegetarian diets had a 50 percent lower risk of hypertension and 40 percent less likelihood of obesity, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

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The researchers at Loma Linda University, a Seventh-day Adventist institution, chose African-Americans for the study because they have lower rates of alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking — two things that could affect a cardiovascular study with more variables.

"This study provides an indication that a vegetarian eating plan can reduce the risk of heart disease, but since the study is cross-sectional, and not a study to assess 'does the diet cause the reduced risk,' more research is needed," said Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University, the Post-Dispatch reported.

The study concluded that the vegetarians were more healthy than the meat eaters in a general sense, a finding that is in line with previous studies on vegetarian versus omnivore diets.

"As a registered dietitian I can say that other studies do show the positive benefits of a vegetarian diet in improving overall health and weight," Diekman explained.

Lori Jones, coordinator of the master's in nutrition and dietetics program at St. Louis University had similar sentiments about the study.

"We already knew the value of a vegetarian diet and plant-based foods," Jones said.

Most previous studies, however, were performed with white male populations primarily.

"A lot of what we knew about vegetarian diets hadn't been studied in other populations," she said. 

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A new study found that African-American vegetarians are healthier than their meat eating peers, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
vegetarian, diets, healthier, blacks, meat
Thursday, 24 April 2014 02:03 PM
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