Whoever follows it reduces the risk of various diseases

all doctors They should know the benefits of a vegan diet against these 6 conditionsWith this peremptory title, the American Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a nonprofit association founded in 1985 to promote preventive medicine and a plant-based lifestyle, provided a major review published inAmerican Journal of Lifestyle Medicine It is intended to clarify diseases and conditions in which, on the basis of major studies conducted in recent years, the advantage of a vegetarian diet has been proven beyond reasonable doubt.

main purpose It is to inform clinicians, many of whom – the authors emphasized – do not receive any specific training despite many years of study. In a recent survey of more than 600 cardiologists, it was found that more than 90% did not attend specific courses or conducted other studies on the importance of diet in cardiovascular disease. The committee notes that the few hours of training that are done almost always focus on biochemistry and deficiencies, and it’s time to end all of this. The hope is that the message will reach everyone, not just doctors. Here are the six conditions in which recent studies have highlighted benefits to a plant-based diet.

Six medical students or graduate students in blue uniforms, notebooks and stethoscopes walking down a corridor with large windows
During their studies, physicians do not receive specific nutritional training

1) Weight loss Weight gain and maintenance and prevention of obesity: A study of more than 70,000 people showed that those who follow a vegetarian diet weigh an average of 4 kilograms less than those who do not follow this type of diet, and they also present a reduced risk . the death.

2) Cardiovascular diseaseFoods of animal origin are often high in cholesterol and saturated fat, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. A recent meta-analysis showed that those following a vegan diet had a mean decrease in Ldl of 13 mg/dL, while another analysis showed a 24% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease for vegetarians compared to vegetarians.

3) Tumors: A healthy lifestyle, which, in addition to physical activity, includes a diet rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grains, can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 50-70%, as happens for those who include a soy diet. And a high amount of fibre. On the other hand, an abundance of dairy products increases the risk of prostate cancer. When it comes to colorectal cancer, fiber is protective, while daily consumption of red and processed meat increases the risk.

A bowl of chickpea and vegetable soup on a white, green and blue striped tablecloth, with left and right breadcrumbs and spoon
A plant-based diet is beneficial for the prevention of six conditions

4) Diabetes: Studies of nurses and health professionals by Harvard researchers, who analyzed data from hundreds of thousands of people, have led to the conclusion that a diet rich in plant foods and fiber reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, by more than 30%. %.

5) Alzheimer’s disease: According to a recent study, those who follow the MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Dietary Intervention to Delay Neurodegeneration) Diet, designed to protect the brain and based on plant foods with a large presence of leafy greens, beans and other legumes, berries and fruits and dry whole grains in the rind, have a lower risk by up to 60%.

6) COVID-19: A study conducted by Harvard researchers showed through telephone interviews that those who follow a plant-based diet also have a 41% lower risk of contracting Covid-19 than those who follow a diet based on animal products.

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Roberto La Pera

science journalist

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