A 2013 Swedish study found that those who never consumed fruit or vegetables had
three years shorter lives and a 53% higher mortality rate than did those who consumed
five servings of fruit and vegetables per day. Although vegetables and fruit are often considered together as components of a healthy plant-based diet, several
studies have found that eating fruit is protective against high blood pressure, stroke,
diabetes, weight gain, some cancers, and age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia).
A study among Chinese adults found that a higher level of fruit consumption was
associated with lower blood pressure and blood glucose levels. The risk of a cardiovascular
event was 25% to 40% lower among those with daily consumption of
fruit compared to those who ate none.
Another study documented that in just four weeks, a plant-based diet can rapidly
reduce heart disease risk factors.214 Systolic and diastolic blood pressure declined,
and LDL-C decreased from 143.0 mg/dl to 118.4 mg/dL. Other CVD risk factors,
including weight, waist circumference, heart rate, insulin, glycated hemoglobin,
and high–sensitivity C–reactive protein, were also reduced.
A review of the impact of vegetarian dietary patterns on CVD suggested that healthy
lifestyle choices may reduce the risk of myocardial infarction by more than 80%,
and that vegetarian dietary patterns alone could reduce CVD mortality and the risk
of coronary heart disease by 40%.215 According to the American Dietetic Association,
“…appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan
diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate and may provide health benefits in the
prevention and treatment of certain diseases.”
Vegetarian and very-low-fat diet advocates also note the evidence that human anatomy
and physiology is most suited to a diet of plant-based foods. This evidence
is provided by the fact that humans have long intestines, whereas carnivores have
short intestines, and that our tooth and jaw structures are similar to those of other
primates living on mainly plant-based diets in natural settings. However, it must be
acknowledged that after two million years of mainly plant-eating, about two million
years ago, our hominid predecessors evolved to homo Erectus, with the anatomical
features of a runner’s build and a spear-throwing arm suited to hunting and eating
This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel.