A plant-based diet will significantly help to prevent, manage and potentially reverse a number of chronic health conditions, including Obesity, Cardiovascular disease, High blood pressure and Type 2 Diabetes.
Many early deaths caused by the above mentioned chronic diseases are preventable and nutrition-related. The most crucial dietary risks for the above mentioned chronic diseases are typical Western diets that are low in fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and high in processed meats, sodium, refined carbohydrates, trans fats and saturated fats. These nutritional characteristics, or lack of, support the development of chronic disease, as well as significantly impact on their progression, as well as general well-being.
On the contrary, a wholefoods plant-based diet is low in the above mentioned harmful nutritional factors, as well as rich in health promoting fibre, potassium, magnesium, folate, Vitamin C, polpyphenols and numerous other beneficial nutrients, including antioxidants; all of which support optimal health, as well as protect against the development of chronic health conditions.
Plant-based diets are associated with:
Lowering overall mortality (death)
Lowering Ischaemic Heart Disease mortality
Reducing medication needs
Supporting sustainable weight management
Reducing the incidence and severity of health risk conditions
Reducing the incidence and severity of obesity
Reducing inflammatory markers
Reducing high blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia)
Reducing high blood pressure (hypertension)
Reducing high blood cholesterol/triglyceride levels (hyperlipidaemia)
Reversing advanced cardiovascular disease
Reversing/reducing the severity of type 2 diabetes
These above benefits are likely due to the consistent consumption of health promoting compounds found in plant foods, as well as the exclusion/reduction of exposure to harmful components found in both processed foods and excess animal products.
Some of the harmful components found in typical Western diets (processed foods and excess animal products) include:
N-glycolneuramic acid (Neu5Gc)
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
Advanced glycation end products
High calorie density
These constituents contribute to inflammation, oxidation and carcinogenesis, promoting both weight gain and disease development.
In comparison, plant foods support health.
For example, plants contain two very essential nutrients, fibre and phytonutrients. Fibre is found in various forms (e.g. soluble, insoluble & prebiotics) in all plant foods, and delivers numerous protective mechanisms for the gastrointestinal tract, cardiovascular system and immune system. Phytonutrients are a class of thousands of different compounds, including carotenoids, flavonoids and glucosinolates. Phytonutrients work synergistically to reduce inflammation and oxidation, which in turn protects the body from disease initiation and progression.
Eating a wholefoods plant-based diet is your best bet for chronic disease prevention, as well as overall health and well-being. Plus it's the biggest thing you can personally do to protect the earths health, and slow climate change.