You have probably heard people preaching the benefits of a vegan diet for a while now. While you are likely to understand how it can help you to reduce your carbon footprint or stop the harming of animals, there is another big benefit to cutting animal products out of your diet.
A new study from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition suggests that plant-based diets may also promote healthy ageing. This means that potentially a small change to your diet could mean that you will stay healthier for longer, avoid dangerous health risks, and continue to feel healthy and happy as you age. So, how can eating more plants and less red meat help you to age better?
Reduce the Risks
One of the biggest risks for people today when it comes to ageing well and staying healthy is their diet. The high consumption of red and processed meats, when combined with low consumption of vegetables and whole grains can contribute to many health conditions such as obesity, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome. While ageing in general increases the risk of chronic diseases, there is evidence to suggest that eating a balanced diet can reduce these risks.
The study noted that eating a plant-based diet, in particular, could drastically reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, by potentially up to 50%. It also reduced the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and coronary heart disease.
Simple Change, Big Reward
While it can be daunting to cut all animal products from your diet, in today’s world there are many alternatives for your favourite foods that are almost indiscernible from the original (although you should not rely too heavily on processed substitutes). It is a simple switch to begin adding more vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, and fruits in your diet – particularly when the potential gains are so great. Vegan diets (when correctly curated) can still provide you with good sources of protein, high levels of vitamins and minerals that support muscles and bones, and enough energy to support your daily activities.
As we age, our bodies require higher levels of nutrients, but often need fewer calories to maintain energy during daily activities. A vegan diet can provide a healthy, hearty, and nutrient-dense source of energy that can help to sustain our body as it begins to age. Eating vegan will also help to prevent cognitive decline and reduce the risk of harmful health conditions in the future. It is not difficult to make the change to a vegan diet, but it should be done correctly to ensure that it contains enough protein and the right vitamins to support one’s body.
If you are thinking of changing your diet, you should consult your doctor before making any drastic changes.
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