Following a plant-based diet is said to be the healthiest approach when it comes to eating. In addition to its weight loss benefits, you still get other health benefits. Over the years, a lot of food scientists bring out more advantages to cutting back on meat and following a plant-based diet, and a lot of people are seemingly getting acquainted. These are the major benefits of opting for a plant-based diet;
It can help you lose weight
When you eat a plant-based diet instead of a meat-heavy one, you would actively reduce your risk of obesity. While it is not always the ultimate goal, plant-eaters mostly weigh less. Opting for a plant-based diet involves nourishing your cells and body for better health outcomes; weight loss is mostly a by-product of cutting back and replacing some foods. One study revealed a huge gap in the BMIs of meat-eaters and non-meat eaters. The average BMI for meat eaters was 28.8, while for vegans, it was 23.6.
Also, you can lose that extra weight by eating more plants. A study showed that people overweight people placed on a whole-food, plant-based diet for a year lost about 9.25lb. This happens because vegetables and whole grains are low on the glycemic index, which would see them being digested more gradually. Also, fruits are packed with fiber and antioxidants, which would leave you with that feeling of fullness for a longer time.
It can help to prevent diabetes
It is without a doubt that there is a strong connection between diet and type 2 diabetes. Your cells become more resistant to insulin if there is a lot of fatty tissue, which is why weight is a huge risk factor for diabetes. Research has shown that a plant-based diet is the best diet to follow when it comes to avoiding type 2 diabetes. A study showed that your risk of type 2 diabetes can be reduced by 34% if you follow a plant-based diet that is packed with high-quality plant food. Research suggests that it is because plants do not contain as many saturated fats as animal foods that raise your cholesterol levels and likeliness to develop type 2 diabetes.
It is good for your heart health
When you eat meat it excess, it could lead to heart complications since it is packed with saturated fats. So, when you opt for a plant-based diet and cut back on excess meat, you are taking a huge step to have a healthier heart. One study showed that your risk of developing cardiovascular disease is reduced by 16% if you are on a plant-based diet. Your chances of dying from this disease are also cut down by 31%. It is important to note that you should not stop at just restricting your meat intake, you should also focus on consuming healthy plant-based foods like healthy oils (like olive oil), vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains, instead of unhealthy plant foods such as sugary beverages and refined grain that have been found to increase risk of heart problems.
It can lower blood pressure
According to a lot of research, hypertension or high blood pressure can make you more susceptible to developing health problems, which include type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Fortunately, you can lead a healthier life by making the right choice of food. A lot of research has shown that eating plants can lower your blood pressure, which would make you less likely to develop those conditions. A meta-analysis that consisted of data from 39 studies showed that people following an omnivorous diet had higher blood pressure on average than people who followed a vegetarian diet. One study found out that the chances of a vegetarian developing high blood pressure are about 34% lower than that of a non-vegetarian.
It can help keep your brain strong
It is a well-known fact that there are a lot of physiological benefits that come with following a plant-based diet. However, there could be some mental benefits too. Recent research on plant-based diets has shown that they should slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s. Several studies have revealed that you can have about a 13% reduction in your risk of dementia and cognitive impairment by increasing your intake of vegetables and fruits by 100 grams daily. The reason is mostly that vegetables and fruits are packed with polyphenols, which can help reverse cognitive decline in addition to slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.