Good news for vegetarians--a recent study on says that people who shy away from meat are 32 percent less likely to be hospitalized or die from heart disease.

This was based on the research of experts from the University of Oxford led by Dr. Francesca Crowe of the Cancer Epidemiology Unit. In one of the largest studies of the effects of vegetarianism on cardiovascular health, Crow and her team worked with 45,000 volunteers, 34 percent of whom were vegetarians. During the given time frame, the participants were monitored and were regularly surveyed about their eating habits, physical activities, smoking and alcohol intake, as well as blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

After the study, 1,235 cases of heart disease were recorded, including 1,066 diagnoses and 169 deaths. Researchers found that vegetarians were less likely to be included in these statistics. In fact, they had lower blood pressures and cholesterol levels compared to regular meat-eaters.

This doesn’t mean that people should just quit eating meat. What is important is to eat a well-balanced diet, and live an active lifestyle.

(Photo by Claudio Matsuoka via Flickr Creative Commons)

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