The authors analyzed research behind the effectiveness of plant-based diets to reduce disease risk including cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes. They concluded that vegetarian and especially vegan diets are effective for weight and glycemic control and provide metabolic and cardiovascular benefits, including reversing atherosclerosis and decreasing blood lipids and blood pressure. Possible mechanisms include increased fiber, vegetable protein, and antioxidant intake and reductions in saturated fat, cholesterol, and caloric intake. The authors recommend that future dietary guidelines and other nutrition policies highlight plant-based diets as a tool for prevention and treatment of various health conditions.
- Kahleova H, Levin S, Barnard N. Cardio-metabolic benefits of plant-based diets. Nutrients. 2017;9:848-861.