Plant-based eating fits within the current recommended dietary guidelines. There are many similarities between the different national food models within Europe. All promote a more plant-based eating pattern encouraging plenty of pulses, vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
Plant-based eating patterns tend to be low in total fat and saturated fat, include a good level of unsaturated fats leading to better overall fat quality, and are high in fibre – all in line with global dietary recommendations.
These nutritional characteristics (low in SFA, high in UFA and fibre) of plant-based eating are thought to be responsible for healthier hearts, body weights and blood sugar levels observed in people whose diets are mainly based on plant foods. Other specific components found intrinsically in plant foods may also work together to bring further heart health benefits. Adherence to plant-based eating patterns is overall associated with lower disease burden and longer life in good health. Data from large cohorts (eg. Adventist Health study) indicate that amongst plant-based eaters, a lower prevalence of obesity, lower rates of coronary heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes is observed.