People who eat vegan and vegetarian diets have a lower risk of heart disease and a higher risk of stroke, a major study suggests.

They had 10 fewer cases of heart disease and three more strokes per 1,000 people compared with the meat-eaters.

The research, published in the British Medical Journal, looked at 48,000 people for up to 18 years.

However, it cannot prove whether the effect is down to their diet or some other aspect of their lifestyle.

Diet experts said, whatever people’s dietary choice, eating a wide range of foods was best for their health.

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