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Comparing the artery function of those who don’t eat meat to those who do, the healthy ability of arteries to dilate normally and let more blood flow is four times better among non-meat eaters, and, apparently, the longer, the better. The degree of superior artery function correlated with the number of years eating meat-free. Instead of their artery function worsening over time as they aged, it was getting better the longer they ate more healthfully.

Researchers have found that those eating plant-based also have improved blood “rheology,” meaning fluidity or flowability, which may play a role in their cardiovascular protection, and switching people to a plant-based diet can improve rheology measurements within just three to six weeks. Also, if anything, there is a lower stroke risk among those eating more plant-based.

In contrast, low-carb diets have been found to worsen heart disease and impair arterial function. Within just three hours of eating a meal rich in saturated fat, arterial function is significantly impaired. Artery function also worsens on a ketogenic diet, even after about a dozen pounds of weight loss, and this appears to be the case with low-carb diets in general.

What about salt? A single typically-salted meal can significantly suppress artery function within 30 minutes by suppressing a powerhouse antioxidant enzyme in our body called superoxide dismutase, which can ordinarily detoxify a million free radicals per second.

Certain plants have been shown to improve our artery function and perhaps even reverse arterial disease, including a variety of legumes, tomatoes, and garlic.

The information on this page has been compiled from Dr. Greger’s research. Sources for each video listed can be found by going to the video’s page and clicking on the Sources Cited tab. References may also be found at the back of his books.

Image Credit: Pixabay

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