New Study Reveals Why You May Want To Stop Cooking All Your Vegetables

Anyone who tries to follow the best practices or latest trends of healthy eating knows it can be a frustrating endeavor to keep up with. You've likely read or been told that vegetables significantly affect your cardiovascular health. While this isn't totally false, a recent study conducted in the United Kingdom found that how you eat vegetables is far more important than you might have realized when it comes to lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease (via BBC). 

According to the study, improving your heart health is more nuanced than simply "eating a rainbow." Though it agrees with the American Heart Association in saying that a plant-based diet could help minimize the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, the study found that whether the vegetables are cooked or raw actually has a significant impact on just how true that claim is (via Frontiers In Nutrition). Though any vegetables are better than none, it seems raw is the best option for your heart.

Raw vegetables might be better for your heart than cooked

The study utilized the U.K.'s Biobank and studied nearly 400,000 people who were tracked for more than a decade. It adjusted for multiple variables, such as socioeconomic status, health, and lifestyle (via Frontiers In Nutrition). In the group, more than 18,000 significant cardiovascular disease episodes occurred and over 4,400 people died. Those who ate more raw vegetables saw lower rates of cardiovascular disease, which is why the study concluded that those who eat more raw vegetables than cooked are more likely to have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. While the study wasn't perfect and needs to be evaluated again, it is a significant finding.

But before you switch all of your cooked vegetable recipes for raw dishes instead, you need to consider the benefits of both cooked and raw vegetables. As Amy Myers, MD, points out, the body breaks down and absorbs the many nutrients that both cooked and raw vegetables provide in different ways, so you need to eat both types of vegetables to get as many of the vitamins and minerals as you can.

Our takeaway? You should probably start adding some raw veggies or a salad to each meal, but that doesn't mean you need to immediately commit to a raw food vegan diet.