New research shows that a predominantly plant-based diet may cut death from heart disease by a third — and help combat climate change.
A new, large-scale study of over 10 000 US participants has added to a growing body of evidence linking plant-based diets to improved health, while a recent United Nations report warned that high consumption of meat and dairy was fueling global warming.
Lower impact all round
The UN report noted that “a dietary pattern … higher in plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and lower in animal-based foods, is more health-promoting and associated with lower environmental impact (greenhouse gas emissions and energy, land, and water use) than … current … average diets”.
The US study, meanwhile, found that consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts lowers the general risk of death by 25% and the risk of death from heart attack or stroke by 32%.
“…Our study provides more evidence suggesting that consuming a plant-based diet can be good for your heart health…People should…limit their intake of red and processed meat,” said study author, Casey Rebholz.
Better health and weight
Health expert, Vanessa Ascencao said a largely plant-based diet, rich in nutrition, was not only good for heart health but may also counter obesity – one of SA’s biggest health threats. She said in addition to fruits and vegetables, plant compounds such as berberine were proven to support heart health and weight loss.
“Selected, high quality vitamins and supplements may help achieve good heart health and weight loss. I recommend Bio-Berberine Complex, a powerful plant extract which contains the potent green tea extract, Origine 8, and chromium which help fight heart disease, regulate blood sugar levels and counter cravings.”
Ascencao said research showed that berberine helped obese patients lose weight and improved insulin sensitivity in pre-diabetics and suggested combining a high-quality berberine supplement with a balanced meal and lifestyle plan devised by a health professional.
Author: Pedro van Gaalen
When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.