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How Eating Plants Improves Health and Reduces Disease

In the past decade, 75% of Americans have changed their diet to be healthier

American Diets Are Changing

  • 125 million Americans followed a diet plan in the last year
    • Most Popular American Diets
      • Ketogenic, low-carb, or high-fat: 12%
      • Vegetarian, vegan, or flexitarian: 6%
      • Mediterranean: 5%
      • Paleo or Whole30: 5%
      • Plant-based: 5%
      • Though relatively few are following an entirely plant-based diet
    • 43 million Americans regularly eat plant-based alternatives
      • Nearly 1 in 3 eat plant-based protein every day
      • In fact, plant-based meals are popular everywhere
    • In 2019,
      • Red Robin, Burger King, Subway, Qdoba, and KFC all introduced plant-based options — McDonald’s plans to do the same
      • Disney introduced plant-based options at all dining locations in Disney World and Disneyland — Including over 400 options
      • Beyonce and Jay-Z offered free concert tickets —for up to 30 years— to promote a plant-based diet they follow themselves

86% of Americans who regularly eat plant-based protein don’t identify as vegetarian or vegan — What does a plant-based diet really mean?

Whole Food, Plant-Based Diet: Wellness and Weight Loss

  • What Is A Plant-Based Diet?
    • Nearly 3 in 4 consumers have heard of plant-based diets
      • More than half are interested in learning more
      • BUT, many confuse plant-based and vegan
    • Americans think a plant-based diet means
      • Vegan: Over 30%
      • Vegetarian: Almost 20%
      • Minimally-processed, vegetarian or vegan: 30%
      • Maximizing fruits and veggies: Less than 10%
      • Unsure: 10%
    • A Whole-Food Plant-Based Diet Actually Means Eating
      • Minimally processed whole foods
      • Maximum fruit and vegetable intake
      • Eliminating or limiting meat, eggs, and dairy

“Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much. — Michael Pollen]

1 in 4 Americans seek health benefits from their food — The #1 benefit they’re looking for is weight loss

  • Do Plant-Based Diets Aid Weight Loss?
    • According to one study, a plant-based diet may produce better results after 1 year, than any other diet alone*, including
      • Reducing body mass index (BMI)
      • Lowering cholesterol
      • Diminishing health-related risk factors
    • Reducing your consumption of animal products may increase weight loss
      • Over 18 weeks, dieters lost more weight on average when choosing
        • Lacto-ovo vegetarianism: 3.26 lbs
        • Vegetarianism without calorie restriction: 3.66 lbs
        • Vegetarianism with calorie restriction: 4.87 lbs
        • Veganism: 5.56 lbs

A whole-food plant-based diet may reduce inflammation factors associated with cancer and heart disease

The Health Benefits Of Eating Plants

  • Heart Disease and Hypertension
    • A whole-food, plant-based diet can lower the risk of coronary heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases
    • A vegetarian diet may reduce the risk of and mortality from coronary heart disease
    • A poor diet may have a negative influence on blood pressure
    • A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy* may reduce blood pressure
      • In one study, diet change reduced blood pressure 2X more for subjects who were already hypertensive
  • Cancer
    • Vegetarian diets may lower the risk of
      • Total cancer
      • Colorectal cancers
      • Gastrointestinal cancers
    • Vegan diets can lower the risk of
      • Total cancer
      • Female-specific cancers
  • Cognitive Decline
    • A plant-based diet may reduce the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia in people over 65
    • Polyphenols ーmicronutrients found in plant-based foodsー may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s
      • Polyphenols are found in many fruits and vegetables
        • Berries
        • Dark chocolate
        • Green and black tea
        • Red grape juice
        • Beans, nuts, and soy
  • Type 2 Diabetes
    • A whole-food plant-based diet can aid in diabetes prevention and management*
      • Lowers the risk of developing diabetes
      • Improves glycemic control (A1C)
    • Consuming more meat is associated with increased risk of diabetes
      • Prevalence Of Type 2 Diabetes By Diet
        • Vegans: 2.9%
        • Lacto-ovo vegetarians: 3.2%
        • Pesco-vegetarians: 4.8%
        • Semi-vegetarians: 6.1%
        • Non-vegetarians: 7.6%
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
    • A plant-based diet may alleviate symptoms of RA by
      • Improving gut bacteria composition
      • Reducing excess body weight Relieving pain and inflammation
  • Other Reasons to Choose Plant-Based
    • Plant-based diets are better for the environment 一 Across all plant-based diet types*, median environmental impact
      • Greenhouse gas emissions: -22%
      • Land use: -28%
      • Water use: -18%
    • Environment impacts health ─ greenhouse gas emissions increase damaging smog and air pollution
      • In California, air pollution is linked to annual health effects including
        • 350,000 asthma attacks
        • 7,000 hospital admissions
        • 6,500 premature deaths

Eat more plants — The science is clear

Consult your healthcare provider in all matters related to your diet and your health

“We tend to think that we eat what we like, but science tells us that we like what we eat. Your taste buds can change.” – Dr. George E. Guthrie

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