We’ve been told for years that we need to eat more fruits and vegetables. They provide vitamins
and nutrients that are an important part of every diet. It begs the question—what if we only ate
Many athletes like Tom Brady rely on plant-based foods for the nutrients they need to perform.
Documentaries such as Forks Over Knives have touted the health benefits of a plant-based diet.
The health benefits of a plant-based diet are becoming more and more well-known.
We spoke to Emmie Keefe, a health coach, plant-based nutritionist, and founder of Healthy
Emmie LLC, to learn about what makes a plant-based diet so good for you.
- Lowers blood pressure
Studies have shown vegetarians have a 34% lower risk of developing hypertension than non-
vegetarians. Plant-based foods are lower in unhealthy fats and packed with nutrients that help
lower blood pressure. Plus, “a vegan diet reduces your risk of obesity,” says Keefe, which is
usually the driving source of hypertension.
- Improves your heart health
“Animal products are packed with saturated fats,” says Keefe, which can increase your risk of
cardiovascular disease. A plant-based diet, meanwhile, is low in saturated fat and packed with
healthy polyunsaturated fats which also help lower your LDL cholesterol.
- Lowers your risk of obesity
Eating a plant-based diet lowers your risk of obesity and can be a great way to lose weight. “My
Slim on Starch program has helped over 1,500 people lose weight and improve their lives,” says
Keefe, who has even coached her formerly obese dad. “By switching to a plant-based diet, he
lost 60 pounds.”
- Lowers cholesterol
Animal products are packed with LDL cholesterol, otherwise known as bad cholesterol, that can
restrict blood flow in the arteries. When Keefe’s mother was told she had high cholesterol,
Emmie knew exactly what to do. “I commend my mom for being willing to try a plant-based diet,
and it really worked.” Healthy Mummy, as she’s known on YouTube, was also able to lose
weight on a vegan diet.
- Reduces your risk of cancer
The fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals in plants are an important part of cancer
prevention. Plus, a stable weight and good overall health, both byproducts of a vegan lifestyle,
can further reduce your cancer risk.
- Lowers your risk of diabetes
Obesity is the largest indicator of your risk for diabetes, since fatty tissue can make your body
more insulin resistant. “Losing weight on a plant-based diet is easy,” says Keefe, and as a result
vegans are less likely to have type 2 diabetes.
To put it simply, a plant-based diet will help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk
of several negative health outcomes. In fact, research has shown that a plant-based diet can
even extend your life.
If you’re thinking about making the switch, consider working with a nutritionist who specializes in
plant-based eating. There are some nutrients you can’t get from plants, and a nutritionist can
help you learn how to get the right nutrients on a plant-based diet.
Erik Horn has been a senior editor at Health News Tribune for three years. Fluent in French and proficient in Spanish and Arabic, he focuses on diseases and conditions He’s a born-and-raised Torontonian and spends most of his weekends in search of strong coffee and stronger Wi-Fi.