Study says vegetarian diet linked to higher risk of stroke

CINCINNATI (WKRC) – There is new research that might have you thinking twice about switching to a veggie burger.

This new study in the British Medical Journal takes a closer look at diet and the risk of stroke. It turns out, according to this research, vegetarians might have a higher risk of stroke than those who eat meat.

Plant-based diets, which are high in fruits and vegetables, lower in fat and have a lot of fiber, are good at fighting heart disease. But this new research shows while vegetarians and vegans may be at lower risk for heart disease, they also might be at higher risk for stroke.

This is the first study to look at vegetarian diets and stroke risk. It shows a 20 percent higher risk for stroke in those who don’t eat meat compared to those who do. It led to about three more cases of stroke per 1,000 people over a decade. But this was not true in pescatarians, who eat fish but not other kinds of meat.

The exact reasons this may be true are not clear. It could be because some vegetarian diets are lower in vitamin B12 and people who eat this way sometimes have very low cholesterol levels. Both of those factors have been linked to stroke.

Right now, researchers say more studies need to be done to confirm these results.

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