“All doctors they should know the benefits of a plant-based diet against these six conditions“. With this peremptory title, the US Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a non-profit association founded in 1985 to promote preventive medicine and a vegan lifestyle, presented a major review published in theAmerican Journal of Lifestyle Medicine whose purpose is to clarify the diseases and conditions for which, based on the main studies of recent years, the advantage of a plant-based diet has been demonstrated beyond any doubt.
The main purpose is to inform doctors, many of whom – underline the authors – do not receive any specific training despite many years of study. In a recent survey of over 600 cardiologists, it emerged that over 90% had not attended specific courses or had done other studies on the importance of diet in cardiovascular disease. The few hours of training that are done, the Committee notes, are almost always focused on biochemistry and deficiency states, and it is time for all of this to end. The hope is that the message will reach everyone, not just doctors. Here are the six conditions for which the most recent studies have highlighted the existence of benefits of a plant-based diet.
1) Weight Loss in excess and maintenance, prevention of obesity: a study conducted on over 70 thousand people showed that those who have a vegan diet weigh on average 4 kilograms less than those who do not follow that type of diet, and also present a reduction in the risk of death.
2) Cardiovascular diseases: Foods of animal origin are often rich in cholesterol and saturated fats, which increase cardiovascular risks. A recent meta-analysis has shown that those who follow a vegetarian diet have an average reduction in Ldl of 13 mg / dl, while another has shown a 24% decrease in the risk of death from cardiovascular diseases for vegetarians compared to omnivores.
3) Tumors: having a healthy lifestyle, which includes, in addition to physical activity, a diet with a lot of vegetables, fruits and whole grains, can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 50-70%, as happens to those who include in the diet soy and a high amount of fiber. Too many dairy products, on the other hand, increase the risk of prostate cancer. When it comes to colorectal cancer, fiber is protective, while daily consumption of red and processed meats increases the risk.
4) Diabetes: Studies conducted on nurses and health professionals by Harvard researchers, who analyzed data from hundreds of thousands of people, led to the conclusion that a diet with a lot of plant foods and fiber lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. more than 30%.
5) Alzheimer: according to a recent study, those who follow the MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet, designed to protect the brain and based on plant foods with a large presence of green leafy vegetables, beans and other legumes, berries, fruit dry in shell, whole grains, has a decrease in risk of up to 60%.
6) Covid-19: a study conducted by Harvard researchers through telephone interviews showed that those who have a plant-based diet also have a risk of getting sick with Covid-19 with a 41% lower severe course compared to those who have one based on animal products.
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Roberto La Pira