Cardiovascular mortality has been associated with changes in lifestyle and food habits. The occidental diet has
been characterized by high intake of animal fat and meat, and it is associated whit increased risk of type 2 diabetes
and high blood pressure, an increase in levels of markers of endothelial dysfunction, and presence of prothrombotic
risk factors. We search the Pubmed database and other review references. Inclusion criteria were:
papers published after 1999, randomized controled clinical studies, case-control studies, systematic reviews and
methanalyses. Vegetarians groups show less cardiovascular morbidity and mortality than non-vegetarians. The
evidence indicated that a decreasing intake of red meat, saturate fat, trans fat, and mainly processed meat, and
an increase in the intake of whole grain cereals, fruits, vegetables and fish, are associated with a better overall
cardiovascular health and survival.
Key words: Animal foods; vegetable foods; high blood pressure; DM2; cardiovascular mortality.