People go plant-based for different reasons. Some of them for the impact it makes on protecting the environment and some to avoid harming animals. But, maybe the most important reason is the health. You are probably aware that plant-based diet have been shown to prevent and reverse heart disease. Furthermore, new research points to a host of other positive effects of a plant-based diet. Let’s dive into the science.
1. Type 2 diabetes:
In a long-term study from Finland of over 2,000 men followed over 19 years, replacing even 1 % of calories from animal proteins with plant proteins lowered the risk of developing diabetes by 18 percent.
2. Liver disease:
A growing health concern is called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD. In an analysis of over 3,000 subjects in the Netherlands, increased dietary proteins from animal sources (meat) were associated with a greater risk (reaching 50 percent higher) of developing NAFLD.
In a study of processed red meat consumption and asthma symptoms, eating cured red meat over four times a week increased the odds of having worsened asthma by 76 %.
4. Colon cancer:
The world was caught off guard in October 2015. In that time, WHO announced their results of a comprehensive analysis demonstrating that processed red meats like bacon and hot dogs cause colorectal cancer. In a more recent analysis, 400 studies were examined. They found that the risk of colorectal cancer increased by 12 % for each 100 gm/day eaten of red and processed meats. Whole grains and vegetables decreased the risk.
In an analysis of 21 studies examining diet and depression, eating red and processed meats increased the risk of depression by over 25 %. On the other hand fruits and vegetables had the opposite relationship.
6. Stomach cancer:
Researchers combined 42 studies relating diet to stomach cancer and found that higher intake of red meat increased the risk by 70 %. But, processed red meat increased it by 80 % over those that shunned meats.
7. Head and neck cancer:
In a study from the Netherlands of over 120,000 subjects followed for over 20 years, consumption of processed red meat was associated with developing cancers of the head and neck. On the contrary, the risk was increased as much as 50 % compared to the low- or non-meat eaters studied.
8. Gestational diabetes:
Developing diabetes during pregnancy, known as gestational diabetes, can complicate pregnancies. Also, gestational diabetes have an impact on the health of the offspring. This recent analysis shows that the highest red meat consumption of any kind increased the risk of gestational diabetes by over twofold. Once again, processed red meat also increased the risk by about double over low-meat eaters.
So, protect the environment, don`t harm the animal and consider a plant-based diet in 2018.