Plant-based diets can promote healthy aging, according to a new editorial published in a nutritional journal.
The article, titled Plant-Based Diets for Healthy Aging, appears in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
It was compiled by researchers from the pro-plant-based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (which funded the paper), who reviewed clinical trials and epidemiological studies related to aging.
They discovered that 'while aging increases the risk for noncommunicable chronic diseases, healthful diets can help', with the editorial showing that 'plant-based diets can reduce the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease by almost 50 percent and could cut cardiometabolic-related deaths in the United States by half'.
Researchers cited a number of studies showing that healthy, plant-based diets can slash the risk of developing metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes by about 50 percent, and may cut the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by more than 50 percent.
In addition, the diet could reduce the risk of coronary heart disease events by an estimated 40 percent and reduce the risk of cerebral vascular disease events by 29 percent.
The authors write: "Modulating lifestyle risk factors and adopting a healthful diet are powerful tools that may delay the aging process, decrease age-associated co-morbidities and mortality, and increase life expectancy."
'Simple diet changes'
“The global population of adults 60 years old or older is expected to double from 841 million to 2 billion by 2050, presenting clear challenges for our health care system,” says study author Hana Kahleova, MD, PhD, director of clinical research for the Physicians Committee.
“Fortunately, simple diet changes can go a long way in helping populations lead longer, healthier lives.”