Vegetarians enjoy a healthier and safer diet
Vegetarians are a third less likely to suffer from heart disease, diabetes or strokes than meat-eaters becuase they have a healthier diet, according to researchers.
Even people who consume a semi-vegetarian diet – those who avoid red meat but still eat chicken or fish – have a slightly lower risk of developing these conditions.
It has been known for some time that eating too much processed meat can increase the risk of bowel cancer and raise cholesterol levels, whereas a diet rich in vegetables can have opposite effect and lower cholesterol.
This new research, however, shows that those who shun meat altogether have a greater chance of not developing high blood pressure, bad cholesterol or other heart or health problems.
The US study found that vegetarians have a 36 percent lower rate of metabolic syndrome – a combination of factors that can cause diabetes and heart attacks.
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To receive a diagnosis for metabolic syndrome, a person needs to suffer from three out of the five risk factors, which are; high blood pressure, high glucose levels, high levels of fat in the body (triglycerides), high cholesterol levels and being overweight.
Although vegetarians are not immune to suffering from metabolic syndrome, only 25 per cent of the ones studied at the Loma Linda University in California had it.
This is compared to 37 per cent of participants with metabolic syndrome on a semi-vegetarian diet, and 39 percent of omnivores that were tested.
Researcher Nico Rizzo said: “I was not sure if there would be a significant difference between vegetarians and non-vegetarians, and I was surprised by just how much the numbers contrast. It indicates that lifestyle factors such as diet can be important in the prevention of metabolic syndrome.”
Fellow researcher Gary Fraser added: "This work again shows diet improves many of the main cardiovascular risk factors that are part of metabolic syndrome. Trending towards a plant-based diet is a sensible choice."
700 volunteers took part in the study, 35 per cent of whom where vegetarians. The findings were also altered according to other lifestyle factors, such as smoking and drinking, in an attempt to give a definitive result based solely on diet choices.
Dubai's new smart neuro spinal hospital: need to know
We take a look at Dubai's new smart hospital.
What: The Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre is a new hospital featuring state-of-the-art technology for spinal, neurosurgical, neurological, orthopaedic, radiosurgery and cancer treatments. The 700 million AED hospital, (equivalent to £138 million), has 114 beds, smart patient rooms, and green spaces for patient rehabilitation, and is four times the capacity of its former premises in Jumeirah. It is also the UAE’s first hospital to have surgical robots.
Where: The hospital is located in the Dubai Science Park. Founded in 2005, Dubai Science Park is home to more than 350 companies from multinational corporations in life sciences, biotechnology and research; over 4,000 people work here each day.
Who: The UAE's Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre was first established in Jumeirah in 2002 by Dr. Abdul Karim Msaddi, as the first as the first "super-specialty" neuroscience hospital.
Why: With advanced diagnosis and robotics, the hospital will provide care across neuroscience, spine, orthopaedics and oncology for people residing in the UAE, as well as international patients.
Prof. Abdul Karim Msaddi, Chairman and Medical Director of the hospital, said: “We are proud to bring world-class healthcare services to Dubai and believe our next-generation hospital will be a game-changer for the emirate’s and the region’s medical industry.
"It will not only significantly increase the availability of specialist neuroscience and radiosurgery treatments and provide better patient care but help attract and develop local and international talent. Investing in the new centre represents our continued faith in the resilience of the region’s economy, as well as a testament to our ongoing drive towards healthcare innovation in the UAE.”