Tag Archives: plant-based diet

Vegan twin is healthier

The vegan twin is healthier! Identical twins are great for so many reasons. They have a special role to play when it comes to medical research because they share the same genetics. We can study how much genetics influences our health and how much our lifestyle choices do.

Although it’s well-known that a plant-based diet improves cardiovascular health, diet studies are often hampered by factors such as genetic differences, upbringing and lifestyle choices. By studying identical twins, however, the researchers were able to control for genetics and limit the other factors, as the twins grew up in the same households and reported similar lifestyles.

In a study, published in the American Journal of Medicine, with 22 pairs of identical twins, Stanford Medicine researchers and their colleagues have found that a vegan diet improves cardiovascular health in as little as eight weeks. According to one of the researchers, “this study provides a groundbreaking way to assert that a vegan diet is healthier than the conventional American diet which includes meat, fish, dairy and eggs.

The participants on a vegan diet had significantly lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels, insulin and body weight — all of which are associated with improved cardiovascular health — than their omnivore siblings. This study adds to the substantial amount of research that shows that, compared with an omnivorous diet, a vegan diet confers potential cardiovascular benefits from improved diet quality through the higher consumption of vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.

Learn more how a plant-based diet can prevent and help treat cardiovascular disease.

Going vegan saves money

Food costs decrease 16% on a low-fat vegan diet, a savings of more than $500 a year, compared to a diet that includes meat, dairy, and other animal products, according to a new analysis recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association network. The study also noted that in addition to health benefits, a vegan diet may have economic advantages.  The comes as no surprise as a 2021 study estimated that diets including less animal and more plant foods were up to 25% to 29% less expensive than omnivorous diets. So in addition to health benefits, a vegan diet may have economic advantages.

The fact that you can save money by following a plant-based diet comes as good news amid rising food costs. According to the US Department of Agriculture, prices for food at home rose 11.4% last year—and that’s after spikes of 3.5% in both 2020 and 2021.

We see that a plant-based diet can save you money at the grocery store. It can save you even more money at the doctor’s office. A plant-based diet can cut the incidence of common diseases. For instance, it can cut the risk of diabetes by 75% and the risk of a heart attack by 50%. Between lower grocery and doctor bills, the savings can really add up.

When first switching over to a plant-based diet, the array of products available can be daunting. Even for people already on a plant-based diet, the number of new products coming out each year can be a lot to keep up with. That’s why we came out with our shopping guide, In Pursuit of Great Food.  You’ll be a savvy shopper with this handy guide to the wide variety of wonderful plant-based products available in the stores. You’ll learn how to decipher product labels and ingredients. You’ll also get money saving tips and even learn a bit about food safety.

Diet, ADD and ADHD

A plant-based diet reduces the risk of ADD and ADHD and improves attention and focus in students.

Many parents are concerned about the challenges their kids face in maintaining attention and focus these days.  Some kids simply need more time to be physically active or more activities that keep them engaged, while others may have a diagnosable disorder such as ADD (attention deficit disorder) or ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder) and might be prescribed medications.  Whatever the level of concern, and whatever the contributing factors that may be causing this, it turns out that a plant-based diet can help.  

A recent study looked at children around 9-10 years old, comparing their level of attention inhibition (their ability to resist distracting stimuli while performing challenging tasks) to the nature of the foods they ate in a particular 7-day period.  The researchers found that the ability of the children to resist distracting stimuli was related to how closely their diet matched a largely plant-based diet. 

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Reduce your risk of gum disease and oral disease

We’re not saying you don’t have to brush your teeth, but the latest research shows that a plant-based diet is good for your health even before you swallow your food. Recent studies show that a vegetarian diet lowers your risk for gum disease, more technically known as periodontitis. This results in a lower risk of bleeding gums, gingivitis, and tooth loss. A plant-based diet also reduces the risk of painful aphthous ulcers also known as canker sores. This condition affects approximately 20% of the general population.  

A plant-based diet reduces inflammation and that can extend to your gums. It also provides phytonutrients which are substances present in plant foods, in addition to vitamins and minerals, that have health promoting properties including reducing inflammation. In addition to being anti-inflammatory, many phytonutrients are good antioxidants which can help prevent cancer and other diseases.

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Plant-based diet beats Keto

The evidence is in. Yet, another study shows that the plant-based diet is best for the environment when it comes to global warming. Producing the food for a plant-based diet causes less global warming than any other diet. This study specifically compared the plant-based or vegan diet to the vegetarian diet, the standard American diet, the Paleo and the Keto diets.

To understand the results of the latest study we need to get technical for a minute. The way to say how much greenhouse gas is emitted in any “farm to your dinner table” diet is to measure it in kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents for every 1,000 Calories. The lower the number the less greenhouse gas is emitted. The lower the number the better for the environment. Here’s how the different diets stack up.  The plant-based, or vegan diet, comes out as having the least greenhouse at 0.69. Next comes the vegetarian diet at 1.66. Then it gets much worse. The typical American meat centered diet hits the environment at 2.23 But the worst diets, in terms of global warming, were the Paleo diet at 2.62 and last place goes to the Keto at 2.91.

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Live longer with plant-based diet

A young adult in the U.S. could add more than a decade to their life expectancy by changing their diet from a typical Western diet to an optimized diet that includes more legumes, vegetables, whole grains and nuts, and less red and processed meat, according to a new study.

Gains are predicted to be larger the earlier the dietary changes are initiated in life. For older people, the anticipated gains to life expectancy from such dietary changes would be smaller but still substantial. The message is clear. You’re never too young to start on a plant-based diet, and you’re never too old to benefit from it.

According to the study, young people starting out at age 20 could, on average, add 10 years to life expectancy for women and 13 years for men. Starting at age 60, it could add 8 years, on average, for women and 9 years, on average, for men. Even 80-year-old women and men could add 3 years, on average, to their life expectancy.

This should come as no surprise. The Journal of the American Medical Association says that diet is the number one risk factor for disease in the United States. Among the 10 leading causes of death (before COVID) are heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease, all of which a plant-based diet can help prevent and treat.

According to the study, an optimal diet had substantially higher intake than a typical western diet of whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and nuts.  Yet, many doctors treat nutrition as a side issue. Of course, they were offered little to no training in medical school.

Of course, we don’t say that nutrition is the only relevant factor in life expectancy. For instance cigarette smoking has a large impact, along with access to medical care. Nevertheless, the nutritional effect  on health is considerable and offers a wide ranging opportunity for increasing life expectancy.

Viking star Sam Corlett is vegan

A Sam Corlett selfie!

Twenty-six year old Australian actor Sam Corlett went vegan while he was in acting school, “to live more in line with his values” he says.  While his body was not naturally muscular he needed to appear so, first as Caliban in the Netflix series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and more recently as Leif Erikson in Vikings: Valhalla.

In order to get as big as possible, he feasted on massive stir-fries that included microgreens, veggies, tempeh and kimchi, along with chickpeas, black beans or tofu, and relevant spices depending on the cuisine he was trying to create.  He also did heavy lifting sessions in the gym along with more restorative yoga practices, to help him bulk up. He was able to gain 22lbs and the expected physique of a Viking!

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Saving Americans trillions!

Let’s save the country trillions of dollars! How you ask? By adopting a vegan diet. Here’s why.

Diet is the number one risk factor for the disease and disability burden in the United States, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. That’s number one! According to cardiologist Dean Ornish, “More than 75% …of the annual U.S. healthcare costs (mostly sick-care costs) are from chronic diseases, which can often be prevented and even reversed by eating a plant-based diet, at a fraction of the costs – and the only side-effects are good ones.”

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Vegan diet saves money

A vegan diet can save you money, according to a new study. More and more people are interested in going vegan, yet there’s long been the notion that plant-based diets are inherently more expensive than following a more traditional omnivore diet – which is why some people may be hesitant to make the switch.

The study, published in a medical journal, found that eating a healthier and more sustainable vegan diet could actually slash up to a third off your food bill if you live in a high income country – like the US, Britain or Europe. The results came as a bit of a surprise for the researchers. If you look solely at the costs of the ingredients, a vegan diet actually costs a third less than the current “western” diets with high amounts of meat and dairy that many people consume in high income countries.

To put it into perspective, they estimated that the typical western diet costs about $50 per week per person. In comparison, vegan diets cost as little as $33. That means, over the course of a year, you could save almost $800 per person by switching to a plant-based diet.

However, the data used refers to the costs of basic ingredients – such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. They didn’t include ready-made meals or highly processed foods such as plant-based burgers. That means, if you want to realize these savings, go for minimally processed foods and try out some new recipes. Prepared foods do offer convenience, but there’s an additional cost.

Book cover for shopping guide

Of course, being a savvy shopper is key to saving money. Our shopping guide, In Pursuit of Great Food, will help you, or someone you know, reorient your kitchen around a plant-based diet.

Reduce your risk of stomach cancer

Medical studies show that a vegetarian diet reduces the risk of stomach cancer while meat increases it.

Cancer is often most easily treated when detected early, but some cancers aren’t easy to catch early. One of them is stomach cancer.  Stomach cancer, also called gastric cancer, begins when cells in the stomach start to grow out of control. By the time it’s detected it has usually spread to other parts of the body. Treatment is most often ineffective or of limited benefit in these cases.

So when it comes to stomach cancer, prevention is even more critical. What can be done to reduce the risk? It turns out a vegetarian diet can reduce the risk of stomach cancer. For instance, one study showed that vegetarians have a 63% reduced risk of getting stomach cancer. Another study showed that vegetarians had 56% reduction in the risk of dying from stomach cancer.

Results from several studies suggested that a diet rich in vitamin C was particularly protective. Sources of vitamin C include fresh produce, such as green and yellow vegetables and fruit. Several studies have also reported the protective role of allium vegetables, such as onions and garlic, in preventing gastric cancer.

There’s another advantage vegetarians have when it comes to stomach cancer. Most cases of stomach have a bacteria, H.Pylori, as one of the causative factors. However, a vegetarian diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help prevent or suppress infection with H. Pylori.

While a vegetarian diet reduces the risk of getting stomach cancer, processed meat such hot dogs and bacon increase the risk, as does red meat such as steaks and hamburgers. The choice for prevention is clear. Put a healthy vegetarian diet to work to reduce the risk of stomach cancer.

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