There are many benefits to replacing animal products with plant-based alternatives. Plant-based diets are more climate-friendly, have fewer ethical quandaries, and can help maintain health. A recent review published in BMC Medicine once again underscores the various ways that plant-based alternatives can help reduce adverse health outcomes. Researchers found that replacing meat and dairy products with plant-based foods can dramatically slash the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
For the review, the researchers examined the findings of 37 different studies. The German–based team wanted to discover whether there were health benefits from replacing animal products such as meat and dairy with plant foods such as whole grains, legumes, nuts, oils, fruits, and vegetables. By examining this question, the researchers hoped to uncover important information about how diet impacts health.
Their findings were extraordinary. The review revealed two important ways that replacing animal products with plant-based alternatives can drastically improve long-term health. The risk of developing both cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes declined when these swaps were made. The most significant impacts were shown when red meat and processed meats were replaced by plant-based alternatives.
Replacing 50 grams of processed meat with a plant-based source of protein, such as nuts or legumes, cut the risk of cardiovascular disease by roughly 25 percent. Fifty grams of processed meat is loosely equal to one hot dog, or two slices of ham. The review also found that substituting one egg per day with 25 grams of nuts correlated to a 17 percent drop in risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
The risk of developing type 2 diabetes also declined when animal products were substituted for plant-based alternatives. Replacing 50 grams of processed meat with 28 grams of nuts daily reduced type 2 diabetes by about 20 percent. Similar results were seen when one egg per day was replaced by 30 grams of whole grains or 10 grams of nuts.
Although the review did not specify the reasons why replacing certain animal products with plant-based alternatives reduced the risk of disease, it is likely due to the high levels of saturated fats, sodium, nitrates, and nitrites that are found in many animal-derived products. Although the researchers feel that more investigation is necessary, nutrition experts advise that reducing the consumption of red and processed meats in particular may have huge health benefits.
Sign this petition to Urge Grocery Stores to Carry More Plant-Based Products!
- Making Plant-Based Meat Price Competitive Is Key to Pushing Animal Products Out of the Market
- Rebellyous Foods and Vizient are Bringing Plant-Based Options to Healthcare Facilities
- Vegan Diet and Walking Helped One Diabetic Man Lose Weight after Amputation
- Physicians Should Be Aware of the Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet for These Six Health Conditions
- Chemicals Produced in Our Gut After Eating Red Meat Could Explain Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease, New Study Finds
Easy Ways to Help the Planet:
- Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based Recipe app on the App Store, to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
- Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take initiative by standing up against fast fashion Pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that raise awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
- Support Independent Media: Being publicly funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
- Sign a Petition: Your voice matters! Help turn petitions into victories by signing the latest list of must-sign petitions to help people, animals, and the planet.
- Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest news and important stories involving animals, the environment, sustainable living, food, health, and human interest topics by subscribing to our newsletter!
- Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, Donate if you can, grow your food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!