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!
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
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.
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
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
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
Less than 1 in 10 adults eating the recommended amount of vegetables - Australian Institute of Health & Welfare
- The Keto diet may do more harm than good - increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, canser & diabetes - Frontiers in nutrition
- National Preventive Health Strategy 2021 -2030 (eat more plants!) - Australian Government Department of Health
- It's time for healthcare professionals to demand a plant-based food system - British Journal of General Practice
- Almost half of all African Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease - American Heart Association & American Heart Association
Plant based meat: a healthier choice? - Food Frontier