Vegetarian or Mediterranean Diet: Which One is Better for Your Heart?

Modern researches indicate the connection between the diet and the heart health. However, there is a large diversity of diets in today’s world and it’s not easy to determine the most suitable one to make your heart healthier.

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If you suffer from a heart disease like millions of other people or just want to prevent it and also find out what is the best meal plan for your heart, let’s find out which diets are the healthiest one and try to determine the difference between them.

A Vegetarian Diet

A vegetarian diet is a nutrition plan that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts and, in some cases, fish, eggs, and dairy products.

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When most people think of vegetarianism, they just think of refusal of meat, but there are various kinds of vegetarian diets.

  • There are people who avoid meat in most cases but allow it sometimes – they are called semi-vegetarians.
  • The ones, who don’t include meat to the diet, yet eat fish are pescatarians.
  • The most common form of vegetarianism is lacto-ovo one, which means avoiding any kind of meat – pork, beef, chicken meat, fish; but it allows  milk products and eggs.
  • There isalso lacto-vegetarianism (it excludes meat and eggs but allows dairy products) and ovo-vegetarianism (it excludes meat and dairy products but allows eggs).
  • Vegans refuse all food of animal origin, including honey and gelatin; raw vegans accept this diet, but they do not cook their meal above 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • The fruitarians follow a special diet that consists of food of plant origin like fruits, nuts, seeds, and other.

Here is more information about vegetarian diet.

A Mediterranean Diet

A Mediterranean diet is a nutritionally balanced diet which assumes no count of calories. The traditional cuisines of the Greeks, Italians, Spaniards are taken as a basis for a Mediterranean diet. Briefly speaking, the basis of this meal plan is healthy eating habits plus olive oil and red wine. Those who stick to a Mediterranean diet, mainly eat the food of plant origin such as vegetables and fruits, legumes, nuts, and whole grains. They replace butter with olive oil, salt – with herbs and spices, predominantly eat poultry and fish instead of red meat and drink red wine in moderation. This diet allows bread, fats, rice, and pasta, but in reasonable quantities.

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Here is more information about vegetarian diet.

The Latest Research Related to Mediterranean and Vegetarian Diet

As a result of the experiment, it was found that both the Mediterranean and the lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets can  equally help to prevent the risk of  heart diseases.

The results of the experiment (CARDIVEG Study) which investigates the impact of the vegetarianism and the Mediterranean diet were published on February 2018 in the journal Circulation.

100 healthy overweight people were invited to take part in a study. All of them were divided into two groups – the first one followed a vegetarian diet while the other one followed the Mediterranean diet. In 3 months they switched the proposed diets. This experiment assumed regular health screenings during the course of the first and the second diet.

The results showed that both the vegetarian and the Mediterranean diets are good for heart health but in different ways. The vegetarian diet helps to reduce LDL cholesterol, while the Mediterranean diet lowers the risk of a heart attack and stroke because it reduces the level of triglycerides. Moreover, people adhering to both diets lost approximately 4 pounds and had decreases in body mass index.

The same efficiency of both diets can be explained by their similarity in many ways. Both diets are rich in vegetables and fruits, beans, nuts and whole grains. They focus on a variety of food, its amount, and also on its nutritional value. It means that there is more than one choice for a heart-healthy diet.


Cesari F., Dinu M., Sofi F. Low-Calorie Vegetarian Versus Mediterranean Diets for Reducing Body Weight and Improving Cardiovascular Risk Profile: CARDIVEG Study (Cardiovascular Prevention With Vegetarian Diet). Circulation, 2018 –

Which is Healthier: Being a Vegetarian or Eating a Mediterranean Diet? –

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