Plant Based Diet: Too Little of a Good Thing

Plant based diets have been shown to have significant health benefits. Notice that the reference is to plants based diets not vegetarian diets. Eating meat can be healthy as meat contains a number of nutrients not readily available elsewhere including haem iron, creatine and carnitine, all of which are healthy nutrients. However, studies show that those who limit meat consumption and eat a higher proportion of plant food are healthier, although the reasons are not clear. Evidence suggests that the lower energy levels, the higher amounts of plant phytochemicals and the fibre may all contribute towards the healthy effects of high plant diets. A healthy diet should get a large proportion of its volume from plant foods, although in terms of energy, this may be a low amount. In particular, the healthiest diets are those that emphasise plants high in antioxidant nutrients such as polyphenols, carotenoids and terpenes. Herbs, spices, vegetables and fruit all contain high amounts of these nutrients and should be consumed liberally. 

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About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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