British Study Finds Vegetarians May Have Higher Risk of Stroke

By Vincent C. Torrieri

English Training News

The all-green food Utopia may not always be the best. According to a new British Study, vegans and vegetarians may have a higher risk of stroke than meat-eaters.

The study, by Oxford University researchers,  published in the British Medical Journal, conducted a research involving nearly 50,000 people with an average age of 45 years for nearly two decades and found that those who followed a strict vegan or vegetarian diet had a 20% higher risk of stroke than those who included meat in their diet. 

Of the 48,188 participants, half of them were meat-eaters, just over 16,000 were vegans and vegetarians and 7,500 were pescatarians (sea-food diet).

The study claims that while the pescatarians, vegetarians and vegans had a lower risk of CHD (coronary heart disease), those on plant-based diets had a 20% higher risk of getting a stroke.

The researchers said the elevated stroke risk could be linked to low vitamin B12 levels, but admitted that more studies were needed to investigate the connection.



  • 8 ounces whole-grain macaroni elbows
  • 1 head of broccoli, florets cut into small bites (about 1 ½ to 2 cups), optional*
  • 1 ½ tablespoon of avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 1 cup peeled and grated russet potato (4 ounces, about 1 small or ½ medium potato), preferably organic
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, more to taste
  • Small pinch of Frontier Co-op red pepper flakes
  • ⅔ cup raw cashews**
  • 1 cup water, more as necessary
  • ¼ cup Frontier Co-op nutritional yeast 
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar, to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. Cook according to package directions. If using broccoli, stir it into the pot when just 2 to 3 more minutes remain. Drain, and transfer the contents to a large serving bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium-to-large saucepan, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender and turning translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the grated potato, garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, salt and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine, and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute to enhance their flavors.
  4. Add the cashews and water, and stir to combine. Let the mixture come to a simmer. Continue simmering, stirring frequently and reducing heat as necessary to avoid a rapid boil, until the potatoes are completely tender and cooked through, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  5. Carefully pour the mixture into a blender. Add the nutritional yeast and 2 teaspoons vinegar. Blend until the mixture is completely smooth, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary. If the mixture won’t blend easily or if you would prefer a thinner consistency, add water in ¼ cup increments, blending after each one.
  6. Taste, and blend in additional salt until the sauce is utterly irresistible (I typically add at least another ½ teaspoon). If it needs a little more zip, add the remaining teaspoon of vinegar. Blend again.
  7. Pour the sauce into the bowl of pasta. Stir until well combined, and serve immediately. Leftovers keep well, chilled and covered, for 3 to 4 days. Gentle reheat, adding a tiny splash of water if necessary to loosen up the sauce.

Written by

Vincent Towerpast

English Language Consultant for Business English courses and Journalist - Foreign Correspòndent