You don’t have to become a vegetarian to protect your heart, but eating more like a vegetarian could help. The EPIC study from Oxford, England and recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. So more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and low fat dairy products in our diet removes saturated fat and adds many important nutrients. The vegetarians were likely at reduced risk because they has lower levels of non-HDL cholesterol(including LDL) and lower systolic blood pressure. The advantage in heart disease risk was seen among recent as well as long-term vegetarians. Aim for at least six servings of fruits and vegetables combined daily, several servings of beans and legumes weekly and whole grains daily.