Prevent chronic disease and welcome many health benefits with a broader and greater intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and legumes.

Consuming food from plant rather than animal sources is the primary reason why vegetarians and vegans have a lower risk of being overweight, or suffering from many chronic diseases.

Most plant food sources are lower in saturated fat, free of cholesterol, higher in fibre and are all good sources of antioxidants and phytonutrients, all of which may contribute to a reduced disease risk.

Greater dietary fibre intakes, reduce risks for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, weight gain, obesity, diverticular disease, as well as constipation.

Eating more fibre-rich foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes (beans, split peas, chickpeas, and lentils) is an action you can take to improve your health.

Prevention can eliminate disease.

Eat more fibre!

Consuming adequate amounts of dietary fibre may turn out to be the most important nutritional recommendation of all.

Heart disease

We now know that as soon as we stop eating an artery-clogging diet, our bodies may start healing themselves, in many cases opening up arteries without drugs or surgery.

Healthy lifestyle choices may reduce the risk of heart attack by more than 80%, with nutrition being the most important factor.

Heart disease, our leading killer, may be reversed with the lowest-tech approach—diet and lifestyle.

Heart Disease factsheet

Type 2 diabetes

People who eat a plant-based diet have been found to have just a small fraction of the diabetes rate seen in those who regularly eat meat. As diets become increasingly plant-based, there appears to be a stepwise drop in diabetes rates.

Type 2 Diabetes factsheet

Bowel/ colon cancer

Colon cancer is predominantly food-related. Worldwide it is the third most common cancer with nearly 1.4 million new cases in 2012.  At least 70% of colon cancer cases are avoidable. Numerous studies suggest that a plant-based diet may be beneficial in the prevention of colon cancer.

Bowel Cancer prevention factsheet

Antibiotic resistance

Livestock consume nearly 80% of the antibiotics in the USA. This may then create the antibiotic resistant superbugs such as MRSA, Yersinia, and Staph, that are now found in a significant portion of store bought meat, and that kill 23,000 Americans every year.

Gut microbiome

Symbionts, the good bacteria that live in symbiosis with us are largely nourished by fruitsvegetablesgrains, and beans. Pathobionts, the disease-causing bacteria that may disrupt our microbial balance, instead appear to be fed by meat, dairy, eggs, junk food, and fast food.


Four simple healthy lifestyle factors were found to account for 78 percent of chronic disease risk (including many cancers) : not smoking, not being obese, getting a half hour of daily exercise, and eating healthier—defined as consuming more fruits, veggies, and whole grains, and eating less meat. 


Whereas all whole plant foods may have anti-inflammatory effects, some plants are better than others. High-antioxidant fruits and vegetables, such as berries and greens, have been found to douse systemic inflammation significantly better than the same number of servings of more common low-antioxidant fruits and veggies, such as bananas and lettuce.


Not only may plant-based diets improve or even eliminate arthritis symptoms, but specific plant foods may provide some relief. eg. açai berries showed modest benefit for osteoarthritis sufferers. Tart cherries appear to be so anti-inflammatory that they can be used to treat a painful type of arthritis called gout.

Bone Health & Vit D

While calcium is important for bone health, fiber and high-phytate foods such as whole grainsbeans, and nuts, may also play a role in improving bone mineral density. Moreover, Vitamin D is important for bone health and for the proper functioning of many other organs.

Meat handlers mortality

A higher rate of cancer deaths among those that handle and process meat is attributed to infection with viruses and chronic exposure to animal proteins.

Workers with the most poultry exposure appear to suffer the greatest excess mortality, although increased deaths from cancer are also found in other slaughterhouse workers. 


People who had once eaten vegetarian diets but then started to consume meat at least once a week were found in one study to experience a 146% increase in odds of heart disease, a 152% increase in stroke, a 166% increase in diabetes, and a 231% increase in odds for weight gain.

Though the dividing line between health-promoting & disease-promoting foods may be less plant v's animal-sourced foods and more whole plant foods v's everything else.

Ten tips for weight management

Autoimmune diseases

A healthy immune system fights germs, budding cancers, and other harmful threats. Autoimmune diseases develop when our immune system mistakenly attacks our own healthy tissue. This may lead to inflammation and damage to joints, nerves, skin, tissues, muscles, and other organs. 
Learn more

Foodborne illness

Four simple healthy lifestyle factors were found to account for 78 percent of chronic disease risk (including many cancers) : not smoking, not being obese, getting a half hour of daily exercise, and eating healthier—defined as consuming more fruits, veggies, and whole grains, and eating less meat. Learn more


Dietary decisions you make now may directly influence your health much later in life, including the health of your brain. Clogging of the arteries inside of the brain with atherosclerotic plaque is thought to play a pivotal role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.  Learn more

Infancy & childhood

It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.

These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes. 

Plant based diets for children

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