Despite many cardiologists being aware of the benefits of a healthy vegetarian diet, many are still failing to recommend one to their patients, according to a new survey.
The pilot survey of cardiologists was conducted Dr Keith Rafal of Rhode Island Rehabilitation Hospital and Amy Joy Lanou from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
Ultimately the research discovered that while many cardiologists know the benefits of a low-fat vegetarian diet for heart patients, they fail to recommend such a diet because they simply do not believe patients would comply.
Most cardiologists recommend a standard omnivorous low-fat diet to heart patients but according to the study these have not proven effective for the treatment of heart disease.
The study said that to experience significant improvement heart patients must consume a diet that contains less than 15 per cent of calories from fat whereas an omnivorous low-fat diet contains up to 30 per cent of calories from fat.
A massive 91 per cent of responding cardiologists said they were either "very familiar" or "somewhat familiar" with the research supporting very-low fat cardiac diets.
Ms Lanou, co-author of the report, said: "Patients hospitalised with life-threatening cardiac conditions should be advised by their doctor that they could head off another heart attack by switching to a low-fat vegetarian diet.
"Dietary changes reinforced by a doctor's recommendation will make it even easier for patients to make simple changes that could add years to their lives."