Plant-Based Diet: The Key to Living Longer and Healthier – CNN Experts Share Shocking Findings

Birmingham, United Kingdom – Experts are advising individuals to consider a plant-based diet to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, live longer, and help the planet. However, it is essential to note that not all plant-based foods are automatically healthy. While some may assume that all plant-based options are beneficial, items such as sugary products like biscuits, crisps, and confectionary can be plant-based but not necessarily good for one’s health, explained Duane Mellor, a registered dietitian and senior teaching fellow.

Studies have shown that consuming plant-based junk foods can significantly increase bad cholesterol, hypertension, and lead to cardiovascular diseases and premature death. Researchers have discovered that ultraprocessed foods made from plants can elevate the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as increase the likelihood of early death. These foods undergo various industrial processes and are often formulated to be highly appealing to the taste buds.

In an effort to prioritize cardiovascular health, experts recommend replacing plant-based ultraprocessed foods with fresh, frozen, or minimally processed plant options to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and dying from heart-related issues. The emphasis is on consuming unprocessed foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, and milk, and incorporating minimally processed items like canned goods, frozen vegetables, and culinary ingredients such as salt, herbs, and oils.

The study, published in The Lancet Regional Health – Europe, utilized data from the UK Biobank and examined the dietary habits of over 118,000 individuals between the ages of 40 and 69. Findings indicated that every 10% substitution of plant-based ultraprocessed foods with minimally processed plants could potentially lower the risks associated with cardiovascular diseases. While plant-based meat alternatives were also studied, it was challenging to gauge the exact risks they posed.

Experts continue to advocate for balanced plant-based diets like the Mediterranean or DASH diets, which already emphasize the importance of avoiding unhealthy foods high in sugar, saturated fats, and processed ingredients. Regardless of whether certain foods are commercially produced or homemade, the emphasis remains on prioritizing heart-healthy choices and steering clear of unhealthy options for optimal well-being.