In 2017, researchers compared the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in subjects who ate a healthy plant-based diet against those who ate an unhealthy plant-based diet and those who consumed an omnivorous diet.
In agreement with a wealth of other literature, it was concluded that the healthy plant-based diet resulted in a reduction in the risk of contracting CHD, however, what was surprising was that the unhealthy plant-based diet increased the risk of CHD more than the diet containing animal foods.
What differentiates this study from other similar research was that the individuals diet was graded using a plant-based index, the healthier diets consisting of foods such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits. The unhealthy plant-based diets included juices, refined grains (white bread) and sweets. Foods, which, although technically vegan/vegetarian, have been shown to be detrimental to some aspects of health.
This study illustrates the fact that just by consuming plant-based foods, you will not necessarily be reducing your risk of CHD. Those wishing to live a plant-based existence should be more aware as to which foods they should be choosing, as an unhealthy plant-based diet could be worse for your health than eating an omnivorous one.