NYS Certified Nutritionist

Plant Based Diets & Longevity

When the British Medical Journal publishes the results of a meta-analysis entitled, “Dietary Intake of Total, Animal, and Plant Proteins and Risk of All Cause, Cardiovascular, and Cancer Mortality…,” medical and nutrition professionals take notice. When Harvard University’s Walter Willett, MD, PhD is one of the lead authors of the article, its findings are taken very seriously.

The article reports on 32 studies and 715,128 participants, documenting consumption of animal versus plant-based proteins, and assessing rates of mortality from cancer, cardiovascular disease, and all causes. The impressive conclusion of the research states that for each additional 3% of calories from plant protein [legumes, grains, and soy products] the risk of dying decreases 5%. Consumption of animal protein offered no risk reduction.

The authors conclude the article by suggesting that replacing animal protein with plant protein could lead to a longer life span. With environmentalists encouraging reducing our intake of animal protein to help stabilize the climate, we have the opportunity to become better world citizens, and increase our longevity, by reducing consumption of animal sources of protein – meats, dairy products, and eggs.

With so many of us eating more meals at home due to the pandemic, this is a perfect time to experiment with different styles of cooking, using more plant-based protein sources. Enjoy the journey!

Dateline: Latham, Albany County, New York