Deaths linked to heart disease are on the rise: here’s how a plant-based diet can help
Heart disease is on the rise, and risk factors like high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes are at a shockingly high rate. There are more and more deaths related to “silent heart attacks” and heart disease than ever before. While The rates for cardiovascular disease were on the decline, they have been on a steady incline since 2010, according to research published in the medical journal JAMA.
So, why are rates so high? Let’s take a look at why more people are dying from cardiovascular disease and what exactly we can do to turn this epidemic around.
What the Stats Show
There’s no denying that death rates related to cardiovascular disease have skyrocketed. In 2017, the death rates caused by heart disease according to the US Centers for Disease Control and the Prevention’s WONDER database were a whopping 647,457 from heart disease, 35,316 from high blood pressure, 46,383 from stroke, and 83,564 from diabetes.
They also noted that in 2003, the rate of hypertension increased (a big risk factor for heart disease,) which is thought to be linked to the rapid increase in deaths related to cardiovascular disease over the last 16 years.
What’s even more alarming is that millions (47 million to be exact) of Americans are also walking around with cardiometabolic disorders. Cardiometabolic disorders include health issues like high blood pressure insulin resistance, impaired glucose tolerance, and fat in the mid-section all of which increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
What’s Causing The Jump in Death Rates Related to Cardiovascular Disease?
So, what’s going on here? Why are so many Americans dying from cardiovascular disease? It all can be linked back to diet. We have to take a look at the impact The Standard American diet is having on our health as a country.
The Standard American Diet is packed full of inflammatory, refined, high-sugar, sodium-filled, and processed foods that lead to all the risk factors of cardiovascular disease.
Research from Tufts University, the University of Cambridge, and Montefiore Medical Center took a look at data provided by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They found that 700,000 deaths were linked to heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
The research showed that 45% of the deaths were linked to poor eating habits and that rates for deaths related to heart disease were highest in those who consumed processed meats, sugary beverages, and those whose nut consumption was low.
Stroke related deaths were highest in those who had a low intake of fruits and veggies and consumed a large amount of salt.
How a Plant-Based Diet Can Help
It’s clear that something needs to change, and it needs to change fast. Assistant professor of cardiology at Northwest University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Dr. Sadiya Khan states that we are clearly “losing ground in the battle of cardiovascular disease.” She stresses just how important it is to find strategies to reduce these deaths related to cardiometabolic disease.
Here’s where a plant-based diet comes in. Plant-based eating has been found to provide a powerful way to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Studies have clearly proven that Americans need to be increasing their intake of plant-based foods from things like fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and that we need to really limit or even eliminate our intake of processed foods and sugary beverages.
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