It’s 2019, and every day it feels like a new diet is being covered in the news. While there are plenty of new fads, some classic lifestyles have stuck around. For years vegetarianism has been praised for copious health benefits as well as its effects on the environment and sustainability.
However, a recent study from the British Medical Journal found that vegetarians and fish eaters are at a higher risk of suffering and death from a hemorrhagic stroke. The longitudinal study followed 48,188 participants over a period of 18 years.
Three groups of people were recruited: meat eaters, fish eaters, and vegetarians, including vegans. Interestingly enough, the researchers found that vegetarians had a lower risk for heart disease, specifically a 22% lower risk.
The authors add that results of several studies in Japan, show that individuals with a very low intake of animal products had an increased incidence of stroke, as well as a possibly higher risk of stroke mortality which suggests that some factors associated with animal food consumption might be protective for stroke.
While this study is informative, it cannot prove confidently that these results were directly caused by people’s diets. It’s possible that those leading a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle engage in different daily practices, use different products, and follow different habits that may contribute to these health problems.
If you are a vegetarian, and you are trying to get pregnant, you should also know there are studies showing there may be a slight increase in infertility. And while it's OK to be a vegetarian, during pregnancy, it's vital to maintain a healthy diet.