Plant-based diet linked to lower risk of heart disease and diabetes

Need another reason to try eating more plant-based meals? A new study suggests that replacing animal protein with plant-based options like nuts and beans (also called legumes) is linked to a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and premature death, according to the results of a study published in BMC Medicine.

For this study, researchers examined data collected over roughly two decades on eating habits and health outcomes for hundreds of thousands of people in the United States, Europe and Asia who participated in 37 different smaller studies. In particular, the scientists wanted to see what types of dietary changes could have the greatest impact on health and longevity.

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A diet high in animal foods is problematic because of the saturated fat content, which affects cholesterol levels and cardiovascular health, the way these foods are processed and prepared, and the lifestyle that often accompanies this typical Western-style diet, says Samantha Heller, RD. , a clinical dietitian in New York, who was not involved in the new study.

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