Study finds that vegetarians are more at risk of strokes than meat-eaters

Study finds that vegetarians are more at risk of strokes than meat-eaters

Vegetarianism is often touted as a healthier alternative to meat-eating by its proponents. But is it really as healthy a lifestyle as vegetarians and vegans claim? Apparently not! A recent scientific study claims that vegetarians actually have a higher risk of stroke than meat-eaters.

The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Oxford, analysed a sample of approximately 50,000 people for 18 years. They found that vegetarians and vegans had lower circulating cholesterol and lower levels of key vitamins. Avoiding meat also meant that they boasted lower levels of coronary heart disease.

An image of a pile of meat. Credit: Getty

Commenting on the findings, lead researcher Dr Tammy Tong, of the Nuffield Department of Population Health at Oxford, told The Daily Mail: "Additional studies in other large scale cohorts with a high proportion of non-meat eaters are needed to confirm the generalisability of these results and assess their relevance for clinical practice and public health."

However, other experts have cautioned that the study's findings aren't conclusive. For instance, Professor Mark Lawrence at Deakin University in Australia stated: "It is based on results from just one study and the increase is modest relative to meat-eaters. Shifting towards plant-based dietary patterns for reasons of personal or planetary health does not necessarily mean becoming a vegetarian."

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Meanwhile, Dr Stephen Burgess of the University of Cambridge stated that the study was: "This [study] is a reasonably high-quality one, with relatively detailed dietary information and a long follow-up period."

He added: "This is an observational study, and so it tells us about differences between people who choose to be vegetarian compared with those who choose to eat meat, but it does not tell us what would happen if those who currently choose to eat meat instead decided to eat a vegetarian diet."

An image of a pile of meat. Credit: Getty

However, lifelong vegetarians often find it difficult to adjust to eating meat after years of a plant-based diet. In fact, one such person even claimed to feel violently sick after eating a hot dog for the first time.