Yet another study has been released suggesting that vegetable-rich eating is linked with better health -- this time, showing that women whose diets include lots of veggies are less likely to develop breast cancer than women who eat more red meat, salt and processed carbohydrates.
The findings, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, looked at the breast cancer risks for women based on how similarly their diets fell in line with the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, which includes lots of vegetables and fruit, beans and nuts, low-fat dairy and grains with fiber.
The researchers found that women with the highest DASH scores had a 20 percent decreased risk of developing estrogen receptor negative breast cancer, which accounts for about a quarter of all breast cancers, Reuters reported.
However, it's important to note that this is simply an association between a plant-heavy diet and a decreased risk of the breast cancer, not proof that the diet can actually prevent cancer, Reuters reported.
The study included 86,000 women, followed for 26 years, of whom less than 1 percent developed estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer. Researchers said they weren't positive why this particular kind of diet seemed linked with the incidence of the breast cancer. However, they told Reuters that it could be because other kinds of cancers have other factors that outweigh the beneficial effects from diet.
In another study published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that people with high levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol who ate a diet high in plant-based sterols, soy and soluble fiber lowered their LDL cholesterol levels by 13 percent over a six-month period.
CNN also recently did a special report on how a plant-based diet has the potential to reverse heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. Former president Bill Clinton has gone on a vegan-like, plant-based diet after he underwent a quadruple bypass in 2004 because of blocked arteries.
A plant-based diet has also been shown in past research to help people with diabetes better control their glucose levels. And a 2008 study showed that eating this kind of diet can increase the enzyme telomerase, which lengthens telomeres. Telomeres are the ends of our chromosomes that are indicative of our lifespan, so the research shows that eating a plant-based diet could actually alter our genes for a longer life.