There are an estimated 9.7 million vegans in the United States today, up 3,000% from 2004, according to a 2020 study by Ipsos Retail performance. These dietary changes have caught the attention of businesses and created a booming vegan market where even traditional meat industry giants have entered the fake meat game.
Sales of plant-based foods in 2020 grew 27%, twice as fast as general food sales, according to data from SPINS for The Good Food Institute and Plant Based Foods Association. 57% of Americans say they buy plant-based alternatives to animal products.
The reasons people adopt a plant-based diet range from personal health and animal rights to environmental concerns associated with factory farming. Thistle analyzed numerous academic studies published in peer-reviewed journals such as Frontiers in Nutrition and Nutrients to come up with a list of 10 benefits of a plant-based diet.
Plant-based diets inherently focus on whole grains, beans, fresh produce, seeds, and nuts, but not everyone who eats plant-based diets avoids animal products entirely. As with all diets, it’s important to consider a person’s genetics, activity level, pre-existing medical conditions, and any nutritional deficiencies or food allergies. In particular, those adopting a plant-based diet are advised to ensure that they are consuming adequate levels of vitamins and minerals, from B12 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids.
Keep reading to discover 10 benefits of plant-based diets.