Eating vegan just once a day could dramatically reduce one’s risk for cardiovascular disease, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. The research specifically pointed to dinner as the pivotal meal that determined one’s risk. Data collected from over 27,000 adults extracted from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found that those who consumed a plant-based diet rich in whole carbohydrates and low in saturated fats reduced their risk of heart disease by up to 10 percent. 

Researchers were quick to point out that meal timing plays a significant role in lowering one’s risk of heart attack, stroke, and congestive heart failure. While they advocated for eating a healthy diet at all times, the study’s authors noted that one could still consume meat and refined carbohydrates and reduce risk if these foods were eaten at breakfast instead of dinner. 

The Power of a Plant-Based Diet

If simply refraining from animal products for the evening meal can decrease one’s risk of heart disease by 10 percent, eliminating animal foods altogether could have an even greater impact on one’s health. In fact, several studies have demonstrated the positive associations between healthy hearts and eating plant-based. 

A 2019 study of 10,000 participants found that a plant-based diet was linked to a 32 percent decreased risk of death from heart disease. The American Heart Association also released research in 2018 that cautioned against the consumption of meat, stating that animal fat consumption could increase one’s risk of death by 21 percent while consuming unsaturated fats from plants decreased the risk of overall mortality by 16 percent. 

Turning “Vegan Before 6” on Its Head

This new study throws a wrench into the “Vegan Before 6” eating pattern. Followed by many—including Vice President Harris—the diet demands one refrain from animal products until 6pm (or dinnertime). After six, one is free to consume animal products. While it may help people moderate their animal consumption, this diet concept could be putting its followers at a higher risk of heart disease given this most recent research. 

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