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New research shows simple diet swaps associated with reduced risk of cancer and heart disease: 'Small steps … can make a big difference'

"Even reducing a day or two per week … can have benefits over time."

"Even reducing a day or two per week ... can have benefits over time."

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A new scientific review that analyzed the results of nearly 50 studies over the past two decades found that plant-based diets are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, and death, NBC News reported.

The review was published in the journal PLOS ONE with the title: "Cardiovascular health and cancer risk associated with plant based diets: An umbrella review."

"This research shows, in general, that a plant-based diet can be beneficial, and taking small steps in that direction can make a difference," Matthew Landry, one of the review's authors and an assistant professor of population health and disease prevention at the University of California, Irvine, said.

Landry also pointed out that these health benefits can be achieved by simply reducing the amount of animal-based foods you consume without going completely vegan. "Even reducing a day or two per week of animal-based consumption can have benefits over time," he said.

Dr. Walter Willett, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the co-author of one of the studies cited in the review, pointed out that the benefits of eating more plant-based foods are not limited to losing weight.

"Some of it is independent of weight. Even when weight is maintained or doesn't change, we still see reductions in some of these other clinical health outcomes, especially when it relates to cardiovascular disease," he said.

In addition to being healthier for you personally, a plant-based diet is much healthier for the planet. In addition to being responsible for a massive and disturbing amount of animal cruelty, the meat industry is highly polluting. Animal farming releases huge amounts of planet-overheating air pollution and also pollutes nearby waterways with animal waste.

🗣️ Why do you eat plant-based foods?

🔘 The health benefits 🥗

🔘 It's cheaper 💰

🔘 It's good for the planet 🌎

🔘 I prefer the taste 😋

🗳️ Click your choice to see results and speak your mind

One Oxford University study found that if the biggest meat eaters in the United Kingdom were to switch to low-meat diets, the cumulative environmental impact would be equivalent to taking eight million gas-powered cars off the road.

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