Plant-based diets are becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason. There are many benefits to ditching meat and embracing a world of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
In this post, we’ll explore 7 benefits of a plant-based diet, including referencing a reputable study for each point. So, whether you’re considering making the switch or are simply curious about the potential advantages, read on!
Improved Heart Health
One of the most well-documented benefits of a plant-based diet is its positive impact on heart health. Plant-based diets are naturally low in saturated fat and cholesterol, two major contributors to heart disease. They’re also high in fiber, which can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people who followed a plant-based diet for four weeks had significant reductions in their LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels.
Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Plant-based diets are also beneficial for blood sugar control. They’re low in glycemic index, which means they don’t cause spikes in blood sugar levels after eating. This can help protect against type 2 diabetes.
A study published in the journal Diabetes Care found that people who followed a plant-based diet for six months had lower blood sugar levels and were more likely to lose weight than those who followed a conventional diet.
Lower Risk of Certain Cancers
A plant-based diet may also help reduce the risk of certain cancers, such as colorectal cancer and breast cancer. This is likely due to the fact that plant-based diets are high in fiber and antioxidants, which can protect cells from damage.
A study published in the journal Nutrition Reviews found that people who followed a plant-based diet had a lower risk of colorectal cancer.
Plant-based diets tend to be lower in calories and fat than combined plant and meat diets. This can make it easier to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. When combined with a personal training program, a plant-based diet can help deliver better weight loss results than a diet with meat.
A study published in the journal Obesity Reviews found that people who followed a plant-based diet lost more weight than those who followed a conventional diet.
Improved Gut Health
Plant-based diets are high in fiber, which is essential for gut health. Fiber helps to promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut, which can improve digestion, boost the immune system, and reduce inflammation.
A study published in the journal Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology found that people who followed a plant-based diet had a higher diversity of gut bacteria than those who followed a conventional diet.
Increased Energy Levels
Many people who switch to a plant-based diet report feeling more energized. This is likely due to the fact that plant-based foods are packed with nutrients that our bodies need for energy production.
A study published in the journal Nutrients found that athletes who followed a plant-based diet had higher levels of endurance than those who followed a conventional diet.
Animal agriculture is a major contributor to climate change. By choosing a plant-based diet, you can help reduce your environmental impact.
A study published in the journal Science found that animal agriculture is responsible for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Ready to Give Plant-Based a Try?
If you’re interested in trying a plant-based diet, there are many resources available to help you get started. There are cookbooks, websites, and even apps that can help you plan your meals and find plant-based recipes. A plant-based diet can be satisfying and delicious! There are endless possibilities when it comes to plant-based meals, so you’re sure to find something you love.
Not ready to go all-in on plant-based? You don’t have to go cold turkey if you’re not ready. Start by incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet each week. You can even make it fun by incorporating meatless Mondays or vegan Thursdays.
Remember, every little bit counts!
So, what are you waiting for? Give plant-based a try and experience the many benefits for yourself!
The sources for this article are from a variety of credible sources, including:
- Journal of the American Medical Association: study on LDL cholesterol reduction
- Diabetes Care: study on blood sugar control and weight loss
- Nutrition Reviews: study on colorectal cancer risk
- Obesity Reviews: study on weight loss
- Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology: study on gut bacteria diversity
- Nutrients: study on athlete endurance
- Science: study on animal agriculture and greenhouse gas emissions
- American Heart Association
- American Diabetes Association
- National Cancer Institute
- Harvard Health Publishing
- The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine