Nurses from across the US were recruited to try veganism and the results are astonishing
Nineteen nurses participated in a nutrition educational program by following a plant-based diet for 21 days. The aim was to improve their knowledge of plant-based nutrition and experience its benefits. They were encouraged to eat fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, pulses and nuts and seeds; cut out meat, seafood,dairy products and eggs and limit highly refined foods, such as white flour, oils and sugar.
New study shows how a healthy vegan diet can cut your risk of type 2 diabetes in half
This was the first study to distinguish not just between animal and plant-based diets but also between healthy and unhealthy plant-based diets. Healthy foods included wholegrains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, pulses, vegetable oils, tea and coffee; whilst unhealthy foods included animal products, fruit juices, sweetened beverages, refined grains (white bread, cornflakes etc.), potatoes, sweets and desserts.
A large analysis of hundreds of studies set out to look at the health effects of many food groups and has confirmed that plant foods are more protective than animal foods against chronic diseases that are related to diet.
According to the study, fruit and vegetables are extremely protective, showing the ability to significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and obesity. The only negative effect – a higher risk of digestive cancers – possibly stems from increased consumption of pickled vegetables.
An extensive analysis of studies that looked at pulse consumption (beans, lentils, soya, chickpeas, peas) and the risk of colorectal cancer showed interesting results. People who eat more pulses have a lower risk of this type of cancer. In particular, both the intake of fibre from pulses and the intake of soya were associated with a lower colorectal cancer risk.
Pulses – beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas – have been repeatedly shown to improve fat metabolism and reduce heart disease risk but health professionals have not been paying attention. So, a scientific team conducted a review that analysed 26 previous trials to assess the effect of pulses on the key factors in heart disease risk. Each trial they looked at had at least three weeks’ duration and compared a diet rich in pulses with one that did not include pulses but provided the same amount of energy.