Eating a plant-based dinner can reduce your risk of heart disease by around ten per cent, according to experts in China.
Researchers at Harbin Medical University in China studied 27,911 U.S. adults' data from the country's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and analysed dietary information collected during interviews taken over two days.
The good news for meat-eaters is that you don't have to give up your bacon breakfast altogether, as the experts examined the association between eating different fats and carbohydrates at different times of the day. Their analysis found that eating a plant-based dinner, even if you have meat earlier in the day, reduced your heart disease risk.
"Meal timing along with food quality are important factors to consider when looking for ways to lower your risk of heart disease. Our study found people who eat a plant-based dinner with more whole carbs and unsaturated fats reduced their risk of heart disease by ten per cent," said study author Ying Li.
"It's always recommended to eat a healthy diet, especially for those at high risk for heart disease, but we found that eating meat and refined carbs for breakfast instead of dinner was associated with a lower risk."
It's hoped that the research could help meat-lovers cut down on their intake as cardiovascular diseases like congestive heart failure, heart attacks and strokes kill almost 18 million people globally each year - meaning that even a small change in diet, like ditching meat when having your evening meal, could save a large number of lives.
The new study was published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.