Plant-Based Nutrition: An Essential Component of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Management

Curr Cardiol Rep. 2017 Sep 8;19(10):104. doi: 10.1007/s11886-017-0909-z.


Purpose of review: This review aims to summarize and discuss the role of plant-based nutrition as an adjunct to the management of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Discussion of nutrition and the benefits of a plant-based diet should be highlighted during healthcare provider visits as an essential part of the overall CVD prevention and management care plan.

Recent findings: Evidence from prospective cohort studies indicates that a high consumption of predominantly plant-based foods, such as fruit and vegetables, nuts, and whole grains, is associated with a significantly lower risk of CVD. The protective effects of these foods are likely mediated through their multiple beneficial nutrients, including mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidant vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, fiber, and plant protein. In addition, minimizing intake of animal proteins has been shown to decrease the prevalence of CVD risk factors. Substantial evidence indicates that plant-based diets can play an important role in preventing and treating CVD and its risk factors. Such diets deserve more emphasis in dietary recommendations.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; Cardiovascular disease prevention; Mediterranean diet; Plant-based nutrition; Vegan; Vegetarian.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diet therapy*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Edible Grain*
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Vegetables*