Plant-based diets are becoming increasingly popular and for good reason. They are not only better for your health, but they are also better for the planet. A plant-based diet is based on plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and nuts. It excludes or minimizes animal products like meat, poultry, fish, and dairy.
A growing body of evidence suggests that plant-based diets are beneficial for health. They have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cancer. Plant-based diets are also better for the environment. They require less land, water, and energy to produce than animal products. They also have fewer greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change.
A new study published in the European Heart Journal found that vegetarian and vegan diets are associated with lower cholesterol levels and fats in the blood.
The study looked at 30 randomized trials with 2,372 participants, published between 1982 and 2022. The researchers found that people who followed a vegetarian or vegan diet had an average reduction in total cholesterol levels of 7%, a 10% reduction in LDL cholesterol, and a 14% reduction in apoB levels.
ApoB is a protein that helps to carry fat and cholesterol in the blood. Higher levels of apoB are associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
Professor Ruth Frikke-Schmidt, Chief Physician at the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark, who conducted the study together with medical student Ms. Caroline Amalie Koch and Dr. Emilie Westerlin Kjeldsen, also from the Rigshospitalet, said: “We found that vegetarian and vegan diets were associated with a 14% reduction in all artery-clogging lipoproteins as indicated by apolipoprotein B.“
This corresponds to a third of the effect of taking cholesterol-lowering medications such as statins and would result in a 7% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease in someone who maintained a plant-based diet for five years. Statin treatment is superior to plant-based diets in reducing fats and cholesterol levels. However, one regimen does not exclude the other, and combining statins with plant-based diets is likely to have a synergistic effect, resulting in an even more significant beneficial effect.
He said, “If people start eating vegetarian or vegan diets early, the potential for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease caused by blocked arteries is substantial. Importantly, we found similar results across continents, ages, different body mass index ranges, and among people in different health states.”
The researchers also found that the benefits of a vegetarian or vegan diet were seen across continents, ages, different body mass index ranges, and among people in different health states. The authors concluded that vegetarian and vegan diets could significantly reduce blocked arteries, lowering the risk of heart and blood vessel diseases, such as stroke and heart attacks.
In conclusion, a growing body of evidence suggests that plant-based diets benefit both your health and the environment. If you want to improve your health and reduce your impact on the planet, a plant-based diet is a great option.
Here are some of the benefits of a plant-based diet:
• Lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some types of cancer
• Lower blood pressure
• Lower cholesterol levels
• Lower risk of osteoporosis
• Increased energy levels
• Improved mood
• Weight loss
• Increased lifespan
Here are some of the environmental benefits of a plant-based diet:
• Requires less land, water, and energy to produce than animal products
• Produces fewer greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change
• Reduces pollution
• Protects biodiversity