Beginning in the late 1970s, a group of now-prominent physicians and scientists – including John A. McDougall, Caldwell Esselstyn, Neal D. Barnard, Dean Ornish, Michael Greger, and T. Colin Campbell – began to argue that diets based on animal fat and animal protein, such as the standard American diet, were detrimental to health. This was in-line with international studies that showed significantly lower mortality rates in Eastern countries with lower intakes of meat and dairy products.
In a number of research studies and best-selling books they proposed that a low-fat plant-based diet would not only prevent, but could even reverse, certain chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.
Over the years the pool of scientific evidence has grown, and there is now a tremendous pool of evidence that demonstrates the potential of a planned vegan diet to prevent and even reverse the following chronic diseases:
- Heart diseases: since saturated fats get replaced by unsaturated fats in a vegan diet, that help de clog our arteries
- Cancers: since (a) lower consumption of saturated fats, that promote hormonal activity (b) cooking meat releases carcinogenic substances, not an issue in vegan diets (c) dietary fiber in plant based foods help remove carcinogenic substances from our bodies
- Diabetes: by replacing saturated fats by unsaturated fats, insulin activity improves
- Kidney disease: since the intake of proteins are more in line with our nutritional requirements, as compared to the overconsumption of proteins in a non-vegetarian diet
- Osteoporosis: since the alkaline structure of plant based proteins, do not lead to leeching of calcium in the bones as caused by acidic proteins in animal products
Details of the same (including the research methodology, key findings and a link to the original study) are available in the resource tab below.