New research indicates that the vegan diet, while low in animal based fats, is nevertheless not as heart healthy as previously thought.
According to experts, eating an exclusively vegan diet may elevate your chances of developing blood clots and atherosclerosis- both of which may lead to heart attack and stroke.
The vegan diet excludes protein sources such as fish, meat, eggs and dairy, which are rich in essential vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids.
The report, published by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, scientists have collected data over the past 30 years relating to cardiovascular health of vegans versus omnivores. They concluded that vegetarians have a statistically high risk of accumulating blood clots and suffering from atherosclerosis as a result of not including vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids in their diet.
Good sources of vitamin B12 include beef liver, lamb, oysters, clams, cheese and eggs. Foods which are rich in omega-3 oils include oily fish such as salmon and canned tuna.
Vegans and vegetarians are advised to supplement their diet with adequate amounts of vitamin B12 and omega-3 in order to prevent heart disease, stroke and vitamin B12 deficiency.