Researchers have shown that a more plant-based diet may help prevent, treat, or even reverse the progression of some of our leading causes of death, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. Interventional studies of plant-based diets have shown, for example, 90 percent reductions in angina attacks within just a few weeks. Plant-based diet intervention groups have reported greater diet satisfaction than control groups, as well as improved digestion, increased energy, and better sleep, and significant improvement in their physical functioning, general health, vitality, and mental health. Studies have shown plant-based eating can improve not only body weight, blood sugar levels, and ability to control cholesterol, but also emotional states, including depression, anxiety, fatigue, sense of well-being, and daily functioning.

It isn’t all or nothing, though.

Transitioning or shifting away from a typical standard American diet towards a plant-based eating pattern has been shown to benefit us in myriad ways. Consider flexitarians, those who occasionally eat meat so are not vegetarian, vegan, or plant-based. Researchers found that as diets become increasingly plant based, there appears to be a stepwise drop in diabetes rates, for instance. Based on a study of 89,000 Californians, flexitarians appear to cut their rate of diabetes by 28 percent, good news for those who eat meat maybe once a week rather than every day. Those who cut out all meat except fish appear to cut their rates in half. What about those eliminating all meat, including fish? They appear to eliminate 61 percent of their risk. And those who go a step farther and drop eggs and dairy foods too? They may drop their diabetes rates 78 percent compared with people who eat meat on a daily basis. There also appears to be a stepwise drop in hypertension rates the more plant-based foods you eat. Compared with people who eat meat more than once a week, flexitarians had 23 percent lower rates of high blood pressure.

For substantiation of any statements of fact from the peer-reviewed medical literature, please see the associated videos below.

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