The interest in a plant-based diet continues to grow and many consider it the healthier option. Moreover, many studies suggest that plant-based diets have a beneficial effect in lowering CVD risk. We conducted an in-app survey among our healthcare professionals, to weigh in on the health benefits of a lifestyle that excludes animal and dairy products.
Objective: Understanding the opinion of doctors on a vegan diet and its association with CVDs
A total of 108 physicians participated in the survey — diabetologists (80%), cardiologists (16%), cardiothoracic/vascular surgeons (2%), and others (2%).
50% of physicians strongly agree that gut microbiota plays a role in cardiovascular diseases, while 40.74% were uncertain about this role
The majority of doctors (74.07%) stated that exclusion of dairy products and meat can predictably improve plasma lipid levels
77.78% of doctors mentioned that vegan diets could contribute to lowering blood pressure levels
52.78% think plant-based diets can boost insulin sensitivity, while 41.67% were uncertain about the same
Almost 65.74% of doctors strongly agreed that a vegan diet can reduce body fat, thereby eliminating chances of obesity
If plant-based addresses all of the above key contributors to atherosclerosis, 60.19% of physicians think they can play a role in cardiovascular safety
80.56% of doctors are likely to recommend a vegan diet as part of a multifaceted approach to CVD management
Conclusion: Cardiovascular diseases are a leading cause of mortality globally, as well as in India. Pharmacotherapy does play a crucial role in managing CVDs. However, if transitioning to a vegan lifestyle could tackle the key contributors to atherosclerosis, then considering them as part of management could improve and accelerate recovery.
Taking into account the relative safety and the low cost of dietary interventions, large-scale studies are required to shed light on the effect of dietary patterns on CVD patients especially in the Indian scenario.
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