Plant-based diets are associated with numerous health benefits versus non-vegetarian diets. Factors like life longevity, inflammation, chronic disease, skin, and BMI are just a few of the benefits.
Plant-based eating gives people lower calorie density and higher nutrient and antioxidant filled food versus animal protein which is high in saturated fat, calories, and has little to no antioxidant benefits.
There is a reason that cultures who have plant based diets like the inhabitants of rural China went thousands of years without any trace of heart disease.
All information below is sourced from the U.S. National Institute of Health (NCBI), American Cancer Institute, and American Heart Association, but should not be substituted in lieu of advice from a medical professional.
1. Cardiovascular disease
A study of more than 10,000 adults proved that a plant based diet was associated with a 16% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and 32% lower chance of dying of cardiovascular disease.1
Through studying 110,000 people, Harvard researchers found that people who ate 8+ servings of vegetables a day had a 30% lower chance of having a heart attack or a stroke compared to people who ate 1.5 servings.2
The world famous Cleveland Clinic demonstrated that advanced coronary artery disease was stopped and reversed with a plant-based diet.3
50,000 men and women were studied, taking into account sleep, genetics, and alcohol, and risk for type 2 diabetes were shown to be 2.9% for vegans and 7.6% for omnivores.
It was also shown that blood sugar is better controlled in vegans. This is most likely due to the high amounts of vitamin B6 and potassium which improve blood pressure as well as the high fiber content in vegan diets which slows sugar in the blood stream.4
Fresh vegetables and fruits are filled with antioxidants that are important for skin health - whether it be preventing skin damage or the production of collagen. For example betacarotene in orange veggies, lycopene in tomatoes, and vitamin C in citrus.
A 2008 study by Dan Ornish demonstrated that a plant based diet with exercise and stress reduction delayed the advancement of prostate cancer in certain patients.5
30,000 women studied over seven years demonstrated that their chances of breast cancer was reduced by 60% if their diet included primarily plant based servings, avoiding red and processed meat, and limiting alcoholic intake to one drink daily.6
The American Institute for Cancer Research advises for plant-based living for survivors and those trying to prevent cancer.7
1 "Eating more plant-based foods may be linked to better heart health. American Heart Association. American Heart Association. 2019, August 7.
2 "Vegetables and Fruits." Harvard T. Chan School of Public Health. 2019, May.
3 Esselstyn, Caldwell. "We Can Prevent and Even Reverse Coronary Artery Heart Disease." US National Library of Medicine; National Institute of Health (NCBI). Cleveland Clinic. August 2007.
4 Tonstad, Serena, Butler, Terry, Yan, Ru, & Fraser, Gary. "Type of vegetarian diet, body weight, and prevalence of type 2 diabetes." NCBI. Department of Cardiology & Health, School of Medicine, Loma Linda UniversityMay 2009.
5 Frattaroli, J., Weidner, G., Dnistrian, A. M., Kemp, C., Daubenmier, J. J., Marlin, R. O., Ornish, D. "Clinical events in prostate cancer lifestyle trial: results from two years of follow-up." NCBI. Department of Psychology and Social Behavior, University of California. Dec 2008.
6 Hastert, T. A., Beresford, S. A. A., Patterson, R. E., Kristal, A. R., & White, E. "Adherence to WCRF/AICR cancer prevention recommendations and risk of postmenopausal breast cancer." NCBI. Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington. Sept 2013.
7 "Vegetarian and Vegan Diets." American Institute for Cancer Research. (n.d.).