The Standard American Diet is high in processed foods that contain refined grains, added sugars and oils, along with meat, dairy, eggs, and seafood. This also means that it’s typically low in whole fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
Studies show that this diet isn’t doing anything good for your health. In fact, it’s the opposite. In the past few decades, this diet has actually driven a significant rise in obesity and chronic diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
I know this might be startling information. But don’t worry, I also have some good news.
An astounding number of studies over the last few decades have shown that people whose diets are made up of plants, or at least 80% plants — in other words, a diet full of whole fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and with low or no consumption of processed foods, meat, dairy, eggs, and seafood — have a lower risk of chronic disease.
Scientific research has shown you can actually lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, lung diseases like Emphysema, Bronchitis and Asthma, Alzheimer’s, and some cancers by eating a diet consisting of all or almost all plants.
For example, this study of more than 20,000 people found that those who had changed their diets to contain fewer animal foods gained less weight than those who ate more animal products. And similarly, those who ate low amounts of meat or no meat at all had a lower risk of diabetes, partially because they also tended to have lower BMIs.
Sounds awesome, right?
But why are plant-rich diets better for you?
It’s because plant foods contain higher quantities of fiber, essential vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals, and they tend to be lower in calories, saturated fat, and cholesterol.
One of the largest studies of vegetarians in the world found that people who ate a diet rich in plants had the highest intakes of fibre, vitamin B1, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, and iron.
That’s a lot of great stuff you’re putting into your body just by eating more plants every day!
In general, people who eat at least predominately plant-based diets enjoy a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, lung diseases like emphysema, bronchitis and asthma, Alzheimer’s, and some cancers, because staples of the vegetarian diet such as fruits, legumes and vegetarian protein products are likely anticarcinogenic.
And in case you needed more reason to eat more plants, this study even found that men who ate a plant-rich diet lived 9.5 years longer and women who ate a plant-rich diet lived 6.1 years longer than other men and women, respectively.
But how do you actually eat in a way that lowers your risk for chronic disease? Start by getting yourself to a point where your diet consists of at least 80% plants.
Yes, it is that simple. And 80/20 Plants makes it as easy as possible.
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DISCLAIMER: This content is provided for informational purposes only. By providing this information, we are not diagnosing any medical disease or condition. This information should not be used as a substitute for the medical advice of a physician.