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Eating a well-balanced diet has become the focus of health enthusiasts and even dieters the world over in recent years, starkly opposing the antiquated idea of starving ourselves or severely limiting ourselves in the name of maintaining weight and optimum health. We are learning now, more than ever, what foods are great for us, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and which ones, like added sugars and processed foods, ought to be avoided.

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But a controversial subject has arisen in the health and wellness world which is making major headway in the mainstream for the first time. The World Health Organization, for instance, stirred up a buzz not too long ago when they proclaimed that processed meat is just as bad as smoking cigarettes. And along with health arguments, there are ethical, environmental, and sustainability concerns which all support giving up all animal products once and for all and living a plant-based lifestyle.

Of course, there are also plenty of arguments circulating against this ideology, including health concerns as to how veganism may not be the best fit for everyone. But if you are considering it, it’s important to take into consideration your body’s requirements and the necessary nutrients you, individually, need, and how they may be affected if you switch to this style of diet. You’ll need to learn the plant-based sources of these nutrients.

It’s highly suggested you further your research to understand the changes in your body that may occur. You shouldn’t feel tired, lacking in energy or strength, or depressed. And if you are feeling these things, you are likely experiencing a deficiency in nutrients, so be sure to know what you need to consume to feel your best under this diet.

Whether you are a vegan already, or are considering it, or even if you are a meat eater and are interested to learn how science plays a part in the popularity of the plant-based diet trend, you may find the following information beneficial:

A New Study Finds Incredible Benefits Of A Plant-Based Diet

According to a new study, transitioning to eating more plant-based foods, and less meat, may help us reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions by 29 to 70 percent by the year 2050. The study also found that this lifestyle can reduce global mortality between 6 and 10 percent, which in turn saves millions of lives and billion of dollars.

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“Dietary change could have large health and environmental benefits,” Marco Springmann, the lead author of the study and a sustainability researcher at Oxford University, said.

For the study, scientists used health and emissions models to predict how dietary changes would promote a positive impact. Their discovery, that eating more servings of fruit and vegetables while reducing the consumption of animal products would greatly benefit the planet, brings more scientific support to an ever-growing field of research on the profound outcome a plant-based plate has on our world.

The Study Found That If We All Went Vegan, Global Emissions Would Drop Significantly

The study reviewed four different dietary scenarios out to the year 2050 to form their conclusions. One of the scenarios was a “business as usual” global diet, and another examined the effects of a  healthier diet — one in which people ate a sufficient amount of calories with a minimum of five portions of fruit and vegetables each day, while also eating less sugar and less red meat — only half a portion per day. The third and fourth scenarios involved strong shifts toward vegetarianism and veganism.

The scientists discovered that if everyone followed the second approach, food-related emissions would be reduced by 29 percent. If people followed a vegetarian diet, emissions would be reduced by 63 percent, and if they went full vegan, that would increase to a whopping 70 percent.

Billions of Dollars Could Be Saved

In addition to the reduction in emissions, study researchers also estimated that these dietary changes could result in savings of $700 billion to $1 trillion per year on health care, unpaid care, and lost working days.

The economic benefit of the reduced greenhouse gas emissions could lead to a savings of $570 billion. And three-quarters of the benefits would take place in developing countries; though, per individual, the biggest positive change would happen in developed countries as a result of their currently higher rates of meat consumption and obesity.

“In terms of health care benefits, because the health expenditure is so large in the U.S., we find that the pure health care savings that would be associated with dietary shifts would be the largest actually of all countries,” Springmann noted. He goes on to say that, while it isn’t expected that everyone will suddenly go vegan, he does feel that people are already moving in a plant-based direction. “We already see a plateauing of meat consumption in higher income countries, like Europe,” he said.

This type of news may take the pressure off of straight up becoming vegan, and encourage people to at least make small changes in their diets.

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