Benefits of Being On A Plant-Based Diet
As meatless and dairy-free options continue to populate the market, the movement to switch to plant-based alternatives doesn’t look like it will slow down any time soon. Approximately 6% of the US population identifies as vegan compared to just 1% back in 2014 and as much as 40% of Americans have made efforts to eat more plant-based.
Most of us know the large role that meat and dairy production plays in climate change and that by eliminating animal products from our diet we can decrease our carbon footprint, but what impact does eating plant-based food have on our bodies?
Although there are several different types of plant-based diets such as vegetarian, vegan, and flexitarian, experts agree that reducing meat and dairy consumption in any of these ways can help to alleviate and even prevent many health problems that have become prevalent in America.
Because meat contains high levels of cholesterol and saturated fat, a diet high in animal protein could cause high cholesterol and heart disease. By switching to a diet filled with more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy oils, studies show that you can decrease your chances of cardiovascular disease by as much as 16%.
Since plant-based diets are naturally lower in saturated fat, they can also help to prevent type 2 diabetes. Studies have found that following a plant-based diet high in quality plant food can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 34%.
Contrary to popular opinion, plant-based diets provide just the right amount of protein and in a way that is much friendlier to our bodies than by consuming meat. The average person only needs to eat about 10-15% of their calories in protein, but most Americans consume much more than that. Studies show that meat-eaters consistently eat almost 80% more protein than their bodies need. In addition, humans do not have the same type of stomach acids as carnivorous animals whose digestive tracts are optimal for consuming meat. Studies show that by consuming meat, which our digestive tracts are not designed to handle, we disturb the natural biome and risk damaging our stomach lining.
If you’re thinking about switching to a plant-based diet, be sure to consult with a dietician or do your own research and create a plan for how you will create a diet that is abundant in the nutrients that your body needs. For tips and tricks, we love following plant-based influencers and trying vegan recipes by Town & Country Markets!
What are some of the health benefits you’ve experienced since eating more plant-based? Let us know on Instagram!