New research supports the already known benefits of vegetarian diets. They show that replacing just one or two servings of animal protein with vegetable protein per day can reduce three of the major markers of cholesterol.
Researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 112 randomized controlled trials in which participants replaced animal protein with vegetable protein for at least three weeks.
Proteins emanating from soy
Most studies have used protein from soy to replace animal milk proteins. The researchers then looked at the effects of these replacements on three key markers of cholesterol : low-density lipoprotein also known as “bad cholesterol”; high density lipoproteins also called “good cholesterol”; and apolipoprotein B, the proteins of bad cholesterol that clog the arteries.
Their results showed that by replacing one to two servings of animal protein with vegetable protein on a daily basis, the main cholesterol markers could be reduced by 5%.
” It does not seem like much, but since we consume very little vegetable protein in North America, small changes in diet can have great health benefits ,” commented study author John Sievenpiper.
Combine vegetable protein and soluble fiber
Scientists have also found that this reduction can be increased if participants combine plant protein with other cholesterol-lowering foods such as soluble oat, barley and plantain fiber.
Previous research had already shown that adopting a vegetarian diet could help lower one’s cholesterol. Other studies have also found that changing the way one feeds helps to lose weight and lower the risk of heart attack.
Note also that the consulting firm Baum + Whiteman in New York predicted that the vegetarian trend would be among the main culinary trends of the year 2018, so to your chickpeas and other legumes, your nuts, cereals and dried fruits.