It’s widely accepted that a protein-rich diet may increase the risk of heart disease but is a meatless, low-fat diet any better? According to health experts, vegans and vegetarians are also prone to heart disease much like meat lovers. That’s because most plant-based diets trigger vitamin B12 deficiency. This B-vitamin is present in all meat products. When you are deficient in this vitamin, the homocysteine levels in the body increases. This puts you at risk of heart disease and stroke.
Why Meatless Diets are Bad for the Heart
Triggers Protein Malnutrition
In a study published in the Nutrition journal, respondents who eat a strict plant-based diet suffer from a condition called subclinical protein malnutrition. This condition is characterized by the lack of dietary sulfur in the body. Subclinical protein malnutrition can lead to a variety of health problems including an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. How?
Fish, poultry, and red meat generate dietary sulfur and amino acids that are critical for producing new proteins. Sulfur plays an important role in the biological and structural interactions between enzymes and proteins. This compound aids in biotin conversion, which is essential in turning carbs into energy. Sulfur also synthesizes important metabolic enzymes like glutathione. It also aids in regulating insulin.
When the body does not get enough sulfur to complete these body processes, the joints, connective tissues are weakened. Sulfur is also linked to effective metabolic process. The lack of this nutrient can cause metabolic disorders including thyroid problems.
Increases the Risk of Blood Clot
The sulfur in meat helps reduce the occurrence of blood clots. Blood clot is a type of biological response that reduces profuse bleeding during an injury. Normally, blood clotting is a life-saving response but too much of it can lead to strokes and heart attacks.
The sulfur in red meat helps regulate blood clot. Those who are deficient in sulfur have a higher risk of developing hyperhomocysteinemia. This condition is characterized by an abnormal level of homocysteine in the blood. This compound triggers blood clot and increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases among vegans and vegetarians.
Causes Cholesterol Deficiency
Conventional medicine tells us that an elevated level of cholesterol in the blood causes cardiovascular disease. To minimize the risk of heart disease, one should eat foods that lower the cholesterol level in the blood.
However, health experts are also warning about the effects of getting too little fat from a plant-based diet. According to Dr. Stephanie Seneff, senior scientist at MIT, heart disease may be triggered by cholesterol sulfate deficiency. She said that although cardiovascular disease is caused by arterial plaque blocking the veins, this condition could be the body’s way of compensating for not having enough supply of cholesterol sulfate.
In an interview, Dr. Seneff explained, “The sulfate actually comes from homocysteine. Elevated homocysteine is another risk factor for heart disease. Homocysteine is a source of sulfate. It also involves hemoglobin. You have to consume energy to produce a sulfate from homocysteine, and the red blood cells actually supply the ATP to the plaque. So everything is there and the intent is to produce cholesterol sulfate and it’s done in the arteries feeding the heart, because it’s the heart that needs the cholesterol sulfate.”