An unprecedented survey conducted by Ipsos Brasil for the NGO Mercy For Animals in Brazil (MFA) showed that 82% of people in Brazil cited health as one of the main reasons for adopting a diet based on plant-based foods. This shows that Brazilians have associated well-being with a diet rich in plants.
For the nutrition doctor Dr. Patrícia Santiago, this survey confirms a trend observed in recent years. “More and more people are looking for a healthier diet, understanding the benefits that plant-based foods can offer”, emphasizes the expert.
The benefits of plant-based foods
A diet with higher consumption of foods of plant origin brings a number of health benefits. One of the main aspects is the reduction of cholesterol. According to the doctor. Patrícia Santiago, foods of animal origin are rich in saturated fats, which contribute to an increase in bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body. Plant foods, on the other hand, are naturally cholesterol-free and contain soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol levels.
In addition, a diet rich in vegetables offers several essential nutrients for the proper functioning of the body, such as vitamins and minerals. “These nutrients are key to strengthening the immune system, preventing chronic disease, improving digestion and promoting overall health. Fibers help to regulate the functioning of the intestine and control blood glucose”, highlights the doctor.
Another benefit is body weight control. Patrícia points out that these foods generally have a low caloric density and are rich in fibras, which contributes to the feeling of satiety and can help reduce total caloric intake. Combined with an active lifestyle, this can help with maintaining a healthy weight and preventing obesity.
Additionally, plant-based foods are naturally rich in antioxidants, which play a crucial role in protecting the body from free radical damage. “These antioxidants help fight oxidative stress, reducing the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes,” explains the nutrologist.
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