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More plants and less meat means less heart disease

The Journal of the American Heart Association has published yet another study showing that plant-based diets are associated with a significant decrease in risk of cardiovascular disease and general mortality.

Unlike previous studies which focused on narrower groups of people, this one was conducted with data from the general population, making its findings more applicable to everyone.

The numbers are compelling. People who ate the most plant-based foods overall had:

  • a 16% lower risk of having a cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks, stroke, heart failure and other conditions;
  • a 32% lower risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease; and
  • a 25% lower risk of dying from any cause compared to those who ate the least amount of plant-based foods.

Plant-based foods are saving lives in other ways, too.

In 2015, after reviewing hundreds of studies, the UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) listed red and processed meats as class 1 carcinogens, meaning that—like cigarettes-—we know for sure they cause cancer.

And a recent meta-study conducted by Harvard researchers recently concluded that plant-based diets are associated with a major reduction in type II diabetes risk.

This is why organizations such as the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, the University of Waterloo School of Public Health and Health Systems, the Mayo Clinic, and dozens of other expert groups all recommend eating more plants and fewer animal products. And of course, so does Canada’s new Food Guide.

Good food choices should be the easy food choices.

Given the compelling evidence that plant-based eating patterns are so much better for us, we need government to step in with policy initiatives that help make healthy plant-based foods more accessible to all.

That may include public education campaigns, policies that ensure plant-based foods are served at official functions and in government-funded institutions, and a ban on animal food advertising foods in schools.

Thank you for supporting Plant-based Policy Centre in our efforts to push for these badly needed changes.

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