According to a study conducted by scientists at the University of Bergen in Norway, published in PLOS Medicine, a diet rich in plants can provide a number of health benefits.
The study used computer modeling to compare a typical Western diet high in animal protein, dairy, and sugar with a diet high in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains, and low in animal protein.
Scientists used existing data from previous analyzes and the Global Burden of Disease study to create a model that estimates the impact of a series of dietary changes on life expectancy. The model is available online and is called the Food4HealthyLife calculator.
The study found that switching to a plant-based diet will benefit 20-year-olds most, who can extend their lives by up to 13 years (men) or 11 years (women). People over the age of 60 can gain up to 8 extra years after becoming vegan. Even a partial change of eating habits is also beneficial – switching to a diet dominated by plant products and containing small amounts of animal products can extend life by 6 years. According to scientists, it is never too late to change nutrition for good, and switching to a plant-based diet even at the age of 80 can extend your life by 3 years.
“Long-term dietary changes can have significant health benefits for people of all ages with both optimized and feasible changes. The benefits are predicted to be greater the earlier dietary changes begin in life, ‘the researchers say.
This is not the first study to show the benefits of a diet that restricts the consumption of animal protein and is rich in plants. A Trusted Source analysis, published in 2020, found that high consumption of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and coffee is associated with a reduced risk of all-cause mortality. Conversely, eating more red or processed meat was associated with higher all-cause