For many years now, Dieticians and Food Scientists have promoted the benefits of eating a more plant-based diet and cutting back on eating meat.
This view is supported by recent research which is summarised below:
A Plant-Based Diet Can Lower Your Blood Pressure
A report published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2014, based on 39 separate studies concluded that those on a vegetarian diet had lower blood pressure than those who ate meat and also had a 34 percent lower risk of developing hypertension than non-vegetarians.
A Plant-Based Diet Can Keep Your Heart Healthy
Meat contains saturated fat, which can affect heart health issues when eaten in excess. A study published in 2019 in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that eating a plant-based diet reduces the risk of developing heart disease by 16 percent and dying of this health condition by about 31 percent.
A Plant-Based Diet Can Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
It’s well known that there is a link between diet and type 2 diabetes, with weight being on of the major risk factors according to the Mayo Clinic. A study published in June 2016 in PLoS Medicine found that eating a plant-based diet filled with high-quality plant foods reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 34 percent.
Eating a Plant-Based Diet Could Help You Lose Weight
The risk of obesity decreases when you swap a meat-heavy diet for a plant-based one. A study by Diabetes Care in 2016 found the average body mass index for vegans was 23.6, while for non-vegetarians, it was 28.8.
Eating a plant-based diet can help lose weight too. According to a study published in March 2017 in Nutrition & Diabetes, 65 overweight adults who followed a whole-food, plant-based diet for one year lost 9.25 pounds on average.
Following a Plant-Based Diet Long Term Can Help You Live Longer
All of the other potential benefits listed here add up to just one thing: a real possibility of living longer. The Journal of the American Heart Association study found that a plant-based diet lowers the risk of all causes of mortality by 25 percent.
A Plant-Based Diet Can Decrease Your Risk of Cancer
Research suggests that a plant-based diet may also help prevent cancer. The American Institute for Cancer Research says the best way to source cancer-protective nutrients is to eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, grains, beans, nuts, seeds.
A Plant-Based Diet Can Improve Your Cholesterol
High cholesterol can lead to fatty deposits in the blood, which can restrict blood flow and potentially lead to heart attack, stroke, or heart disease, but a healthy diet can help keep cholesterol levels in check. A diet which is primarily plant based can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol by between 10 and 15 percent, while those following a strict vegan diet can lower their LDL cholesterol by as much as 25 percent, according to a review of 27 studies published in The American Journal of Cardiology.
Eating a Plant-Based Diet Can Minimise Your Risk of Stroke
In general, it is accepted that our risk of stroke increases if we have high blood pressure, are overweight, have diabetes or heart disease, have high cholesterol, or smoke, drink, or use drugs. Most of those risk factors can be significantly reduced by eating a plant-based diet and making healthy lifestyle choices.
One simple way to reduce your risk is by increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables. The highest consumers of fruits and vegetables had a 21 percent lower risk of stroke than those who consumed the least, according to a study published in June 2014 in Stroke.
The biggest reason for us to change to a plant-based diet is so that we can save the planet and the human species. The human and animal species are all part of the same eco-system. The more animal proteins we consume, the more we deplete the world’s resources so it is not an over-statement to say eating a plant based diet can help save us and the planet.