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Eating More Plant Protein and High-Quality Carbohydrates May Reduce Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Sources of plant protein include pulses, tofu, soya, tempeh, seitan, nuts, seeds, certain grains and even peas. Foods rich in high-quality carbohydrates include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. According to a new study, substituting plant protein and high-quality carbohydrates for animal protein and low-quality carbohydrates at dinner time may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Participants in the study included 27,911 adults who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Food frequency questionnaires were used to determine consumption of high- and low-quality carbohydrates and animal and plant protein during breakfast and dinner. The researchers evaluated the presence of cardiovascular disease such as congestive heart failure, heart attacks, and stroke.

Participants with the highest consumption of high-quality carbohydrates and plant protein at dinner had a 10% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease compared to those with the highest consumption of low-quality carbohydrates and animal protein. Substitution of one animal protein for one plant protein at dinner was associated with a 10% and 8% reduced risk of congestive heart failure and heart attack, respectively.

The study was conducted by researchers from Harbin Medical University. It was published online ahead of print on May 26, 2021 in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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