Vegan Diets Could Prevent One Third of Early Deaths Says Harvard Scientist
Are you a vegetarian or vegan?
If you are, we have great news for you. Your food choices could prevent your early demise.
New calculations presented last week at the Unite to Cure Fourth International Vatican Conference by Harvard Medical School Scientist estimate that cutting out meat could save more than 200,000 lives each year. This number represents a third of early deaths caused by preventable diseases such as cancer, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.
“When we start to look at it we see that healthy diet is related to a lower risk of almost everything that we look at. Perhaps not too surprising because everything in the body is connected by the same underlying processes”, said Dr. Walter Willett of the Harvard Medical School on his panel devoted to “The Plant Food Revolution – Good for You and Good for the Environment”.
Dr. Willett also shared that these figures are likely a conservative estimate as the calculation “doesn’t take into account the fact that obesity is important and we control for obesity.”
The positive impact of a plant-based diet on health has been known for years but Professor David Jenkins, also part of the panel, described how the benefits of a vegan diet have been greatly underestimated.
“We’re saying you’ve got a choice, you can change your diet to therapeutically meaningful change or you can take a statin. Drug or diet.”
His study on the effect of a large consumption of fruits and vegetables on cholesterol levels found a 35 percent reduction in just two weeks. A result similar to statins, a well-known drug used for high cholesterol.
Also present at the Conference, President of the Committee for Responsible Medicine, Dr. Neal Barnard agreed with the idea that the upsides of a vegan diet are undersold, health-wise.
“I think people imagine that a healthy diet has only a modest effect and a vegetarian diet might help you lose a little bit of weight. But when these diets are properly constructed I think they are enormously powerful”, he shared on the panel.
The Conference, located in Vatican City, aimed to gather global health-care influencers to raise awareness and discuss technological advancements in health care, promising new therapies, and disease prevention through behavior changes, meditation, and diet.
Do you agree with the experts that eating plant-based is the way to go? Let us know in the comments!