Eating more plants, particularly fresh fruit and veggies, instead of things like packaged products and processed meats is said to be one of the most important things you can do to treat obesity and to lower the risk for certain illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Furthermore, plant-based foods enhance liver function and provide antioxidants to support the immune system. They may also have a smaller impact on the environment and lessen greenhouse gas emissions.
Here are five reasons to choose a plant-based diet for weight loss:
#1 Lower LDL cholesterol
Our bodies need a small amount of cholesterol to function properly, but most of us make enough cholesterol on our own without adding it extra to our diets through fatty foods, especially meat, dairy products, and eggs. Furthermore, the fact that animal products are loaded with saturated fat and have no dietary fiber is another reason which can exacerbate the LDL cholesterol. According to medical experts at the American Heart Association, a plant-based diet can considerably lower LDL cholesterol.
A whole food, plant-based diet encourages lots of fruits, vegetables (raw or cooked), beans, seeds, and nuts (in smaller amounts) and no vegetable oils.
Tip – for people who have tried eating a plant-based diet and still have high LDL cholesterol, you should make sure you’re not consuming foods high in saturated fat, such as palm oil, palm kernel oil, cocoa butter (found in vegan chocolate), and coconut oil.
#2 More fiber
There is a nutrient for which 97 percent of people in the United States are deficient. That nutrient is dietary fiber. The average daily dietary fiber intake of Americans is 10 to 20 grams daily. Experts recommend at least 40 grams per day.
Fiber is something the body needs but never actually digests, as fiber remains more or less the same from plate to the toilet. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fiber helps move waste and absorbs water from the physical body. Soluble fiber is related to slowing digestion and to lowering LDL cholesterol levels, helps to control our hunger, and keeps our energy levels stable. Insoluble fiber helps to prevent constipation by creating and fermenting bacteria, that helps to clean our digestive tract from leftovers.
There’s a strong association between consumption of more dietary fiber and more weight loss. Flax seeds, chia seeds, and nuts provide insoluble dietary fiber, that facilities foods pass through the intestines and stomach easier. Peas, chickpeas, lentils, red kidney beans, and apples contain soluble fiber, that slows digestion and helps the body better absorb essential nutrients from food.
#3 High in anti-inflammatory foods
Inflammation is the body’s response to harmful stimuli when tissues are inflamed and aggravated. But when the immune response is in a state of constant, low-level inflammation, better known as chronic inflammation, it can actualy promote rheumatoid arthritis and tumor development.
One of the major reasons plant-based diets are so beneficial for our health is their capacity to lower chronic inflammation levels in the body. Natural anti-inflammatory agents, such as spices, should be added generously on a daily basis. Reach for ginger, turmeric, hot red peppers, onion, and garlic as well as dark leafy vegetables.
#4 Protective factor against cardiovascular disease
Atherosclerosis associated with high dietary intake of dairy products, eggs, and meat remains the leading cause of mortality in the United States. The World Health Organisation states that the rise in cardiovascular diseases reflects a considerable shift in physical activity levels, dietary habits, tobacco, and alcohol consumption worldwide as well as a result of urbanization, industrialization, food market globalization, and economic development.
Individuals who follow a healthy plant-based diet have a stronger heart. They also reap the benefits of lower LDL cholesterol levels in comparison to meat-eaters, while type 2 diabetes Mellitus is less common in plant-based eaters.
#5 Healthier gut bacteria
Your physical body is much more than a system of blood vessels and organs; you carry more bacteria cells in our body than anything else. The gut, also named “the second brain,” has been found to affect the mineral and vitamin absorption, immune system, memory, mood, and overall mental and physical health.
In addition, according to a new study published in the journal Gut, individuals following a plant-based diet had the highest levels of SCFA – short chain fatty acids, indicating that they had a healthier microbiome in their gut.