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For the Millionth Time: Eat Plant Foods for Health and Longevity

By November 17, 2023Kahn Longevity Center
If you have heard it once, you have heart it a million times: whole plant food diets are the healthiest choice on the planet and for the planet. As Michael Greger, MD says, if all that whole food plant diets did was halt and reverse the #1 cause of death worldwide (heart disease) they would be the default choice by far. But they can do so much more as a new study demonstrates.

There is growing evidence that substituting animal-based with plant-based foods is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), type 2 diabetes (T2D), and all-cause mortality.

The new study aimed to summarize and evaluate the evidence for the substitution of any animal-based foods with plant-based foods on cardiometabolic health and all-cause mortality (live longer).


The authoers searched research databased through March 2023 for prospective studies investigating the substitution of animal-based with plant-based foods on CVD, T2D, and all-cause mortality.


In total, 37 publications based on 24 cohorts were included. There was a moderate lower risk of CVD when substituting processed meat with nuts (27% lower), legumes (23% lower), and whole grains (36% lower), as well as substituting nuts in place of eggs (17% lower) and substituting olive oil for butter (4% lower).

There was also a moderate reduction in T2D incidence when substituting red meat with whole grains/cereals (10% lower) and red meat or processed meat with nuts (8% lower), as well as for replacing poultry with whole grains (13% lower) and eggs with nuts or whole grains (18% lower).

Moreover, replacing red meat for nuts and whole grains, processed meat with nuts and legumes , dairy with nuts, and eggs with nuts, and legumes were associated with a reduced risk of all-cause mortality.


The study findings indicate that a shift from animal-based (e.g., red and processed meat, eggs, dairy, poultry, butter) to plant-based (e.g., nuts, legumes, whole grains, olive oil) foods is beneficially associated with cardiometabolic health and all-cause mortality.

For the millionth time, eating plants is a step towards better health. Substituting nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes (along with fruits and vegetables) for any and all animal foods is what is taught at the Kahn Center