It looks like we have now another reason to follow plant-based diets as researchers have found that adopting a plant-based diet can help promote healthful ageing and mitigate the global burden of disease.
For the findings, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, the research team reviewed clinical trials and epidemiological studies related to ageing.
The study found that while ageing increases the risk for noncommunicable chronic diseases, healthful diets can help.
“The global population of adults 60 years old or older is expected to double from 841 million to 2 billion by 2050, presenting clear challenges for our health care system,” said study author Hana Kahleova from Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in the US.
The study shows that plant-based diets can reduce the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease by almost 50 per cent and could cut cardiometabolic-related deaths in the US by half.
“Modulating lifestyle risk factors and adopting a healthful diet are powerful tools that may delay the ageing process, decrease age-associated co-morbidities and mortality, and increase life expectancy,” the study authors wrote.
The authors cite studies showing that plant-based diets rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes reduce the risk of developing metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes by about 50 per cent.
The findings also revealed that plant-based diets reduce the risk of coronary heart disease events by an estimated 40 per cent and the risk of cerebral vascular disease events by 29 per cent.The researchers found that adopting a plant-based diet may reduce the risk for cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease by almost 50 per cent.
The researchers also noted that plant-based diets have been tied to increased life expectancy. They also noted that these improvements in health will reduce health care costs caused by chronic diseases.
“Fortunately, simple diet changes can go a long way in helping populations lead longer, healthier lives,” the study authors wrote.