Cardiovascular disease (such as heart disease and stroke) occurs when there is a build-up of fatty deposits (plaques) on the inside walls of the arteries. These plaques can clog up the arteries making them narrower and restricting the blood flow in the same way that sewerage pipes get blocked when people pour animal fat down the plughole! Stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is cut off, usually by a blockage resulting from artery plaques. Stroke is essentially a brain attack and the longer the blood supply to part of the brain is blocked, the bigger the risk of permanent damage.
Replacing meat with other, healthier plant-based sources of protein (nuts, pulses and wholegrain foods) dramatically lowers the risk of stroke.
Eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day, pulses (peas, beans and lentils), wholegrain foods such as brown rice, wholemeal bread and wholemeal pasta, nuts and seeds.
Learn more about the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease through diet.
See our Nutrition News on the topic.
Find out what you need to eat each day here.