A recent study published in BMC Medicine has highlighted the significant health benefits of replacing animal-based foods like red and processed meats, eggs, and dairy products with plant-based alternatives such as nuts, legumes, and whole grains.
This comprehensive review of various studies underscores the positive impact such dietary changes can have on reducing the risk of chronic diseases and death.
Benefits of Plant-Based Substitutes
The study, led by Sabina Schlesinger and Lukas Schwingshackl, analyzed data from 37 publications, including 24 prospective cohort studies.
These studies focused on how replacing certain animal-based foods with plant-based options affects health outcomes. The findings were revealing:
Substituting 50 grams of processed meat per day with 28 to 50 grams of nuts led to a 27% decrease in the overall incidence of cardiovascular disease.
Replacing processed meat with legumes reduced the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases by 23%.
Swapping one daily egg with 25 to 28 grams of nuts resulted in a 17% lower risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, the study didn’t find significant benefits in replacing poultry and fish with nuts or legumes in terms of cardiovascular risk.
Impact on Diabetes and Overall Mortality
The study also shed light on how dietary changes can influence the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and affect overall mortality:
Replacing 50 grams of processed meat with 10 to 28 grams of nuts each day was linked to a 22% reduction in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Switching one egg per day with 30 grams of whole grains or 10 grams of nuts was associated with a 21% and 18% reduction in type 2 diabetes risk, respectively.
Furthermore, substituting processed meat with nuts significantly reduced the risk of death from all causes by 21%.
Need for More Research
While these findings are promising, the authors note that more research is needed to fully understand the health impacts of replacing animal-based foods with plant-based alternatives.
Future studies could explore the effects of meat and dairy substitutes on health outcomes.
This research highlights the potential benefits of incorporating more plant-based foods into our diets, not only for personal health but also for broader environmental sustainability.
In summary, this study emphasizes the importance of diet in managing health risks. Shifting towards plant-based foods can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and overall mortality.
It serves as a call to action for individuals to reconsider their dietary choices for better health outcomes.
If you care about nutrition, please read studies about 9 signs you have inflammation in your body. Could an anti-inflammatory diet help? and findings of High-salt diet strongly changes your kidneys.
The research findings can be found in BMC Medicine.
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