A recent study published in BMC Medicine highlighted the significant health benefits of replacing animal foods such as red and processed meat, eggs and dairy with plant-based alternatives such as nuts, legumes and whole grains.
This comprehensive review of various studies highlights the positive impact such dietary changes can have on reducing the risk of chronic disease 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 foods with plant-based options affects health outcomes. The results were revealing:
Replacing 50 grams of processed meat per day with 28 to 50 grams of nuts resulted in a 27% decrease in the overall incidence of cardiovascular disease.
Replacing processed meat with legumes reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease by 23%.
Replacing one daily egg with 25 to 28 grams of nuts resulted in a 17% lower risk of cardiovascular disease. However, the study found no significant cardiovascular risk benefits from replacing poultry and fish with nuts or legumes.
Effects on diabetes and all-cause mortality
The study also sheds light on how dietary changes may influence the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and impact all-cause mortality:
Replacing 50 grams of processed meat with 10 to 28 grams of nuts per day was associated with a 22% reduction in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Replacing 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.
Additionally, replacing processed meat with nuts significantly reduced the risk of death from any cause by 21%.
Need for more research
Although these results are promising, the authors note that further research is needed to fully understand the health effects of replacing animal foods with plant-based alternatives.
Future studies could examine 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 highlights the importance of nutrition in managing health risks. Switching to plant-based foods can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and all-cause mortality.
It serves as a call to action for individuals to rethink their dietary habits 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 a high-salt diet changes your kidneys greatly.
For more information on nutrition, see recent studies on new ways to curb excessive inflammation, as well as findings showing that foods can cause inflammation.
The research results can be found in BMC Medicine.
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