Two Decades of Research: Plant-Based Diets Proven Beneficial for Health

By: | May 20th, 2024

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Examining the Link Between Diet and Disease: Insights from a Review of 49 Papers

Vegetarian and vegan diets are often associated with improved cardiovascular health and reduced cancer risk, as revealed by a recent review of 49 papers. Published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on May 15, 2024, researchers at the University of Bologna in Italy uncovered these connections.

Previous research has linked specific diets to increased chances of cardiovascular disease and cancer, particularly those low in plant-based foods but high in meat, refined grains, sugar, and salt. Advocates suggest transitioning from animal-based to plant-based foods to mitigate these risks, though the overall benefits remain uncertain.

To delve deeper into the potential advantages of plant-based diets, researchers analyzed 48 papers published between January 2000 and June 2023. This umbrella review synthesized evidence from various studies over two decades, examining the impact of plant-based eating on health markers.

Plant-Based Eating: Improving Health Markers and Reducing Disease Risks

The findings indicated improvements in cholesterol and blood sugar levels, lower BMI, and reduced inflammation among individuals adhering to plant-based diets. However, individual needs may vary. For instance, pregnant women following vegetarian diets may not experience differences in gestational diabetes or hypertension risks compared to those on non-plant-based diets.

Nonetheless, the study underscores the potential of embracing plant-based diets to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, certain cancers, and cardiovascular-related mortality.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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