Plant-based diets are associated with a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes

Do you have another reason to try to eat more plant-based foods? Replacing animal proteins with plant-based options like nuts and beans (also called legumes) is linked to a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and early death, a new study suggests. BMC Medicine.

For the study, researchers looked at data collected over nearly two decades on the dietary habits and health outcomes of hundreds of thousands of people in the United States, Europe and Asia who participated in 37 different small studies. Specifically, the scientists wanted to see what types of dietary changes might have the greatest impact on health and longevity.

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

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