Some Plant Based Diets are Healthier than Other
Plant-based diets have been associated with lower cardiovascular risk, but there are some plant foods that are unhealthy and some animal foods that are healthy. This study sought to label and give a score to various categories of plant and animal foods based on how healthy they were. They then analyzed data from a survey of 121,701 female and 51,529 males, the survey was administered every 2 to 4 years over approximately two decades. Foods high in glycemic indexes or simply refined sugar that came from plant are included in most studies with other healthier plant-based foods such as raw fruits and vegetables. The study separated these groups and found that those who eat a diet high in healthy vegetables and a reduced but did not eliminate animal-based foods entirely could achieve the same results of a strictly vegetarian diet. However, if one increased the consumption of unhealthy plant-based foods and decreased or eliminated animal foods it was found to increase risk of cardiovascular disease. The study suggests that even a modest decrease in animal-based foods and an increase in healthy plant foods will lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.