The traditional diets of indigenous populations with low CVD risk typically have
vegetarian or mostly plant-based dietary patterns. The notable difference from ULF
eating is greater consumption of high-fat plant foods such as seeds, nuts, olive oil,
and avocados. The Women’s Health Study found that the fifth of those studied
with the highest intake of fruits and vegetables was associated with a 20% to 30%
reduction in risk of CVD compared to the fifth with the lowest intake.

Other groups with vegetarian diets, such as Seventh Day Adventists, have a low incidence
of CVD.100 A study that included Seventh-Day Adventists found that people who
consumed large amounts of meat protein and fat experienced a 60% increase in
CVD, whereas consumption of large amounts of protein from nuts and seeds was
associated with a 40% decrease in CVD. A study in the Journal of the American
Heart Association that compared four diets found that higher adherence to a healthy
plant-based diet index was associated with a 19% lower risk of CVD mortality and
an and 11% lower risk of all-cause mortality.

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