April 6, 20232023年 04月 06日
“Transformation to healthy diets by 2050 will require substantial dietary shifts. Global consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes will have to double, and consumption of foods such as red meat and sugar will have to be reduced by more than 50%. A diet rich in plant-based foods and with fewer animal source foods confers both improved health and environmental benefits.”
-Prof. Walter Willett MD Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Co-Chair of the EAT-Lancet Commission
On April 7, the world celebrates World Health Day, an opportunity to raise awareness about human well-being and promote healthier habits. Science has shown time and time again that a diet rich in plant-based foods is a win-win for humans (and the planet). Here are three key reasons why:
Plant-based foods help reduce the risk of diseases
Switching from animal to plant-based protein can significantly lower the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Why? Plant-based foods are rich in fiber, and minerals that are essential for good health. Additionally, unlike animal-based protein sources, plant-based protein is typically lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, which can contribute to poor health outcomes.
Plant-based foods boost longevity
Did you know that people in the world’s “blue zones” – regions where people live the longest and healthiest lives – follow a mostly plant-based diet? These places, located in specific areas of Japan, Italy, Greece, Costa Rica, and the United States, have one thing in common: their diets are low in meat and dairy, and rich in plant-based foods. And a study in the Journal of American Heart Association showed that this kind of diet could reduce the risk of mortality from all causes by a whopping 25%.
Industrial animal farming is dangerous to human health
The cramped and unsanitary conditions animals live in on factory farms pose significant health risks to humans. The close quarters create a breeding ground for disease, with cases of salmonella and E.coli spreading from farm to table. Moreover, data shows that antibiotics are used far more frequently on farm animals than on humans, with usage set to rise by 8% by 2030. The overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which can make it harder to treat infections. Therefore, when humans consume meat from animals treated with antibiotics, they risk being exposed to these resistant bacteria.
As suggested by the EAT-Lancet Commission, reducing the consumption of animal-based foods and increasing the consumption of plant-based foods is a crucial step to achieve a sustainable and healthy diet by 2050. As we celebrate World Health Day, let’s make a powerful choice to prioritize our health and the health of the planet by putting more plant-based protein on our plate.
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