Plant-based diets provide well-established physical and environmental health benefits. These benefits stem in part from the degree of restriction of animal-derived foods. The purpose of this review is to examine the impact of plant-based diets on human physical health, environmental sustainability, and exercise performance capacity. Based on currently available literature, it is unlikely that plant-based diets provide advantages, but do not suffer from disadvantages, compared to omnivorous diets for strength, anaerobic, or aerobic exercise performance. However, plant-based diets typically reduce the risk of developing numerous chronic diseases over the lifespan and require fewer natural resources for production compared to meat-containing diets. As such, plant-based diets appear to be viable options for adequately supporting athletic performance while concurrently contributing to overall physical and environmental health. Given the sparse literature comparing omnivore, vegetarian, and vegan athletes, particularly at the elite level, further research is warranted to ascertain differences that might appear at the highest levels of training and athletic performance.
Researchers at the University of Oxford found that cutting meat and dairy products from your diet could reduce an individual’s carbon footprint from food by up to 73 per cent. If everyone stopped eating these foods, they found that global farmland use could be reduced by 75 per cent, an area equivalent to the size of the US, China, Australia and the EU combined. Not only would this result in a significant drop in greenhouse gas emissions, it would also free up wild land lost to agriculture, one of the primary causes for mass wildlife extinction. The new study, published in the journal Science, is one of the most comprehensive analyses to date, looking into the detrimental effects farming can have on the environment and included data on nearly 40, farms in countries. Researchers examined a total of 40 agricultural products in the study, covering 90 per cent of all food that is eaten. They looked at how each of these impacted the environment by analysing climate change emissions, water pollution and air pollution. The research also looked into the different techniques used to produce the same foods and found vast distinctions in terms of environmental impacts.
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Thank you for visiting nature. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer. Western societies notice an increasing interest in plant-based eating patterns such as vegetarian and vegan, yet potential effects on the body and brain are a matter of debate. Therefore, we systematically reviewed existing human interventional studies on putative effects of a plant-based diet on the metabolism and cognition, and what is known about the underlying mechanisms. In addition, little is known, based on interventional studies about cognitive effects linked to plant-based diets. In sum, the increasing interest for plant-based diets raises the opportunity for developing novel preventive and therapeutic strategies against obesity, eating disorders and related comorbidities. Still, putative effects of plant-based diets on brain health and cognitive functions as well as the underlying mechanisms remain largely unexplored and new studies need to address these questions. Western societies notice an increasing interest in plant-based eating patterns such as avoiding meat or fish or fully excluding animal products vegetarian or vegan, see Fig. In , around 0. Likewise, the number of scientific publications on PubMed Fig.