For ages, medical professionals have advised that eating a lot of fruits and vegetables is crucial to living a long and healthy life. However, a recent study from researchers at Oxford University has challenged this notion, arguing that eating plenty of vegetables offers no protection against heart diseases. This study has proved controversial, as some experts question the interpretation of the data collected by the scientists.
Scientists at Oxford University analysed data from 400,000 people in the UK, who were tracked for 12 years.
During this decade long study, 18,000 of those chosen suffered from major heart problems such as a heart attack or stroke.
The participants were later asked how many vegetables they ate daily, as the researchers compared this data with rates of heart disease.
Overall, the study found that the group who claimed to eat the most amount of raw vegetables were 15 percent less likely to suffer heart disease, compared to those who ate the least.
The study also revealed that there was no link between eating more cooked vegetables and a lower risk of dying or being hospitalised due to a stroke.
However, the benefits gained from eating raw vegetables disappeared once factors such as wealth and lifestyle were taken into consideration.
The study then concluded that having plenty of foods such as broccoli, carrots and peas “does not have a protective effect on the occurrence of cardiovascular disease”.
The report, which was published in the journal Frontiers of Nutrition seems to suggest that any link between eating vegetables and preventing heart disease is likely due to the fact that people who have such diets tend to be healthier in other areas of their lives, like exercise.