Plant-based diets reduce chronic disease risk, require fewer resources, and do not hinder athletic performance, compared with omnivorous diets, according to a report published in Nutrients. The authors reviewed publications that compared nutrient density, athletic performance, disease risk, and environmental factors between those following vegetarian and omnivorous diets. Plant-based diets lower risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer while lowering cholesterol and oxidative stress levels. Vegetarian eating patterns require less land, water, and energy when compared to animal-based diets. Researchers observed no negative effects of plant-based diets on athletic performance and noted potential benefits such as increase antioxidant intake via fruits and vegetable consumption.
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Lynch H, Johnston C, Wharton C. Plant-based diets: Considerations for environmental impact, protein quality, and exercise performance. Nutrients. 2018;10:1841-1857.