The vegan advantage: some recent findings
Recently I had a conversation with someone who eats a vegetarian diet. She asked me why I had chosen a vegan diet. I shared my arguments with her, namely that veganism is better for animals, is beneficial to health and reduces the burden on the environment. She was surprised that I mentioned health benefits of veganism, so I told her that there is a lot of scientific research that supports this. I offered to share some research data with her, but her response was unexpected. She said, 'No, never mind. I'm afraid that might leave me with no excuse not to go vegan.' A remarkable reaction, isn't it? Anyway, for those who do want to find out more, I've collected some recent studies here, all from 2023:
Cardiovascular and Cardiometabolic Health
- Research by Koutentakis et al. (2023) highlights beneficial effects of a vegan diet with lower BMI, cholesterol, glucose and blood pressure, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Agnoli et al. (2023) show benefits of vegetarian diets in reducing risk of heart disease, obesity, hypertension and type 2 diabetes.
- Dybvik et al. (2023) find evidence that vegetarian and vegan diets are associated with a lower risk of ischemic heart disease.
Muscle Building and Diet Quality
- Muscle Building on a Vegan Diet: Monteyne et al. (2023) show comparable muscle growth and strength with vegan diets as with omnivorous diets.
Diet Quality and Depressive Symptoms
- Walsh et al. (2023) report that vegans have the highest diet quality and fewer depressive symptoms.
- Fillipin et al. (2023) state that the vegan diet has 44% less environmental impact than Mediterranean diets.
- Scarborough et al. (2023) show that vegans have a significantly lower adverse environmental impact than meat eaters.
- Rifkin (2023) emphasizes the importance of nutrition to increase resilience to climate and health crises and calls for policy action and education.
There is much more
These recent studies underscore the many benefits of a vegan diet for both individual health and the environment. This is by no means a complete overview. For example, a previous study (Dinu et al., 2017) showed that a vegan diet reduces the risk of all types of cancer by 15%.
For those still on the fence about making the switch to veganism, these findings provide strong and varied arguments to consider embracing the benefits of a plant-based diet.