When it comes to plant-based diet, it’s not all or nothing

When it comes to plant-based diet, it’s not all or nothing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that, in the United States, around 40 per cent of 40–59-year-olds and 37 per cent of adults aged 60 and over are obese.

A team from Erasmus University Medical Center, based in Rotterdam, recently carried out research examining the links between diet, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, weight in relation to height (fat mass index), and body fat percentage.

Rather than dividing people into categories of vegetarians and meat-eaters, they assigned participants scores based on how closely they adhere to all-vegetarian diet.

The team discovered that people with the highest scores on the index were more likely to have a lower BMI. Higher scores were also linked with lower body fat percentage and lower waist circumference.

 

"Our study suggests that a more plant-based and less animal-based diet beyond strict adherence to vegan or vegetarian diets may be beneficial for preventing overweight/obesity in middle-aged and elderly populations."
- lead study author Zhangling Chen


Interestingly, the researchers point out that there are various ways that participants could achieve the higher scores, even if they didn't become entirely vegan or vegetarian. For example, swapping 50 grams of red meat for 200 grams of vegetables every day would significantly improve someone's score.

The research not only supports current recommendations to shift to diets rich in plant foods, but it’s also good news for all the “flexitarians” out there. No need to go cold turkey to reap the benefits of a vegetarian diet!

Source: Medical News Today

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