A recent study brings good news for those considering a vegan diet, not just for health but also for the wallet.
The research conducted by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and published in JAMA Network Open, reveals that a low-fat vegan diet can significantly reduce food costs—by 16%, saving more than $500 annually, compared to a diet rich in meat, dairy, and other animal products.
Cost and Health Benefits
Hana Kahleova, MD, Ph.D., director of clinical research at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and the co-author of the study, emphasized the established health benefits of a vegan diet, including reduced risks of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
This study takes it a step further by demonstrating the economical advantages of opting for plant-based foods like beans over beef, offering substantial savings on grocery bills.
This research analyzed the food costs of participants who were randomly assigned to either a vegan group or a control group.
The vegan group was requested to follow a low-fat vegan diet—comprising fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes, with no restrictions on calorie intake or food costs. Conversely, the control group continued their regular diet without any modifications.
Understanding the Savings
To assess food costs, the study linked the dietary records of participants to the food price data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Thrifty Food Plan, 2021.
The vegan group experienced a 16% reduction in total food costs, amounting to savings of $1.51 per day, predominantly due to spending less on meat and dairy.
This drop in expense surpassed the additional spending on vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, and alternatives to meat and dairy, reinforcing previous studies that showed plant-based diets as more economical than those including animal products.
Holistic Health Improvements
Besides monetary savings, the study also highlighted the health improvements noted in the participants following a low-fat vegan diet.
They reported weight loss, enhanced body composition, and better insulin sensitivity, benefiting especially those who were overweight.
These findings bolster the growing body of evidence suggesting the manifold benefits of a vegan diet, combining wellness with economic prudence.
Choosing a diet can often feel like a balance between maintaining health and managing expenses.
However, this research from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine illustrates that a low-fat vegan diet can offer the best of both worlds.
By adopting a plant-based diet, not only can individuals mitigate risks of various health conditions, but they can also enjoy considerable savings on their grocery bills.
This dual advantage can be a significant motivator for more people to explore veganism, paving the way for a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.
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The research findings can be found in JAMA Network Open.