Promotes Heart Health Vegetarian diets reduce several heart disease risk factors to help keep your heart healthy and strong. One study in 76 people tied vegetarian diets to lower levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol — all of which are risk factors for heart disease when elevated. Similarly, another recent study in 118 people found that a low-calorie vegetarian diet was more effective at reducing “bad” LDL cholesterol than a Mediterranean diet. Other research indicates that vegetarianism may be associated with lower blood pressure levels. High blood pressure is another key risk factor for heart disease.