1. You might lose weight
On average, people, who consume meat, have higher total energy intake. Studies show that very often there is a strong association between meat intake and weight, waist circumference and obesity.
Meat is calorie dense and often high in fat, while providing no fiber. Plants, on the other hand, have exactly the opposite properties. They are often naturally low in calories and fat (with few exceptions). Fiber, present in plants, gives you the sense of satiety, while balancing out your sugar levels, both of which contribute to maintenance of healthy weight. Therefore, turning plant based might be just the step you are missing to reach your weight goals this year.
2. Your microbiome will thrive
Microbiome is an ecosystem of organisms, majority of which live in your digestive system. By now, you probably know, how important it is to have a microbiome that is in balance. It not only constitutes a healthy digestive system, but also supports so many other important functions - it helps to set you in a good mood, create some of the vitamins and eliminate toxins, just to name few.
Good bacteria, that live in symbiosis with us, feed off and are nourished by fruits and vegetables, grains, beans and other plants. Plant foods help shape a healthy intestinal microbiome due to the abundant amount of fiber found in them. On the other hand, diets high in sugar, junk food and meat cause an unbalanced gut microbiome, that can even contribute to the development of disease. Less meat and processed foods, and more fiber means a healthier gut!
3. Your cholesterol levels will drop
Studies consistently show that, when people go plant based, their blood cholesterol levels drop. In fact, when you stop eating meat, your cholesterol could be reduced for up to 35%!
Plant-based diets reduce your blood cholesterol simply because plants contain zero cholesterol. They also tend to be very low in saturated fat, that usually contributes to increased blood cholesterol levels. Remember fiber, that we have been talking about so much? It also helps with keeping your cholesterol balanced.
4. Not only cholesterol, but your overall risk for developing heart-disease will decrease
Vegetarians have been shown to have lower risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. It is thanks to the increased intake of plants, that are full of fiber, heart-healthy minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients. By excluding meat, you significantly reduce your saturated fat intake, and instead get fats from plant sources, that are known to strengthen your heart.
5. You will reduce your chances of getting Diabetes type 2 or improve the management of your blood sugar levels
There are many studies showing a clear link between consumption of meat and risk for type 2 diabetes. Even though there are several factors, that could trigger the onset of diabetes or complicate a successful management of your blood sugar levels, saturated fat and cholesterol seem to be the biggest problem. To put it simply, saturated fats cause insulin resistance by building up unnecessary fats inside the cells. In fact, as soon as 160 minutes after a fatty meal, your insulin sensitivity gets compromised. Now imagine if several meals put such a stress on your insulin receptors.
As your diet becomes plant-based, your blood sugar levels are more easy to manage. By stopping eating meat, you can cut your risk for diabetes type 2 in as much as one half. Isn't that powerful?
Going plant-based does not guarantee you will experience all of these benefits, as your health depends on several factors. It is not only diet, but also your physical activity and stress levels, as well as your habits and genetics that play an important role. However, eating a plant-based, balanced and unprocessed diet has been shown to improve health for thousands of people. There is a reason why health professionals around the world urge people to eat more plant based. It works. Enjoy the power of plants!