Move over, meat. Or at least scoot over a little and make some room—our veggie friends are eyeing center plate. That’s because more and more people are recognizing the benefits of meals based on fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains. Plus, consuming more plants can be easier on the earth, too.
Nothing says you have to go vegan, or even vegetarian. Burger lovers and bean lovers—we love ‘em all! But the benefits of a plant-based diet are well documented. And the good news is that improving your diet can be as easy as slipping in an extra serving or two of fruit, veggies, nuts or soy every day.
A plant-based diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains and meat substitutes (like soy) may reduce mortality from heart disease1 and lower the incidence of high cholesterol2,3 and diabetes.4
Silk® can be a great place to begin. Try delicious soymilk, almondmilk or cashewmilk instead of your usual dairy milk in cereal, or pack a tempting Dairy-Free Yogurt Alternative for lunch. It could be the start of a deliciously smart new habit.
When it comes to taking care of your body, soy is more than just another healthy plant-based food. For starters, soy is a complete protein, which means it contains all of the amino acids required for optimal health. Plus it’s been recognized by the FDA for its role in supporting heart health.
In fact, as part of a healthy diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, 25 grams of soy protein per day may help reduce your risk of heart disease. (A serving of Silk Vanilla soymilk packs 6.25 grams.) Studies also suggest that soy protein may help lower LDL-cholesterol5 and that a diet high in soy may be associated with lower risk of breast6 and prostate7 cancer, coronary heart disease8 and possibly even bone fracture.9,10
Loading up on plant foods can be an easy and delicious way to avoid piling on unwanted calories. That’s because many plant foods—like fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains—are high in fiber, which can make it easier to feel full and satisfied while sticking to sensible portions.
Some studies indicate that individuals following a plant-based diet are less likely to be overweight and are at lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome11 (a combination of disorders linked to heart disease and diabetes).
Nothing against our friends the cow, the chicken and the pig. But getting them from the field to the dinner table can take a lot more resources than eating plants, which naturally live lower on the food chain. So when you work a few more plant-based foods into your routine, you’re doing something smart for your body and the planet.
Did you know that producing one half-gallon of milk requires four times more water than producing one half-gallon of Silk soymilk, almondmilk or coconutmilk?12 And that’s just one example of how plant-based diets can help protect and conserve the Earth’s limited resources.
1 Key TJ, Fraser GE, Thorogood M, Appleby PN, Beral V, Reeves G, et al. Mortality in vegetarians and non-vegetarians: a collaborative analysis of 8300 deaths among 76,000 men and women in five prospective studies. Public Health Nutr 1998;1(1):33-41.
2 Fu CH, Yang CC, Lin CL, Kuo TB. Effects of long-term vegetarian diets on cardiovascular autonomic functions in healthy postmenopausal women. Am J Cardiol 2006;97(3):380-3.
3 Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Faulkner D, Vidgen E, Trautwein EA, Parker TL, et al. A dietary portfolio approach to cholesterol reduction: combined effects of plant sterols, vegetable proteins, and viscous fibers in hypercholesterolemia. Metabolism 2002;51(12):1596-604.
4 Tonstad S, Stewart K, Oda K, Batech M, Herring RP, Fraser GE. Vegetarian diets and incidence of diabetes in the Adventist Health Study-2. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2011.
5 Anderson JW, Bush HM. Soy protein effects on serum lipoproteins: A quality assessment and meta-analysis of randomized, controlled studies. J Am Coll Nutr 2011;30(2):79-91.
6 Wu AH, Yu MC, Tseng CC, Pike MC. Epidemiology of soy exposures and breast cancer risk. Br J Cancer 2008;98(1):9-14.
7 Yan L, Spitznagel EL. Soy consumption and prostate cancer risk in men: a revisit of a meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89(4):1155-63.
8 Kokubo Y, Iso H, Ishihara J, Okada K, Inoue M, Tsugane S. Association of dietary intake of soy, beans, and isoflavones with risk of cerebral and myocardial infarctions in Japanese populations: the Japan Public Health Center-based (JPHC) study cohort I. Circulation 2007;116(22):2553-62.
9 Koh WP, Wu AH, Wang R, Ang LW, Heng D, Yuan JM, et al. Gender-specific associations between soy and risk of hip fracture in the Singapore Chinese Health Study. Am J Epidemiol 2009;170(7):901-9.
10 Zhang X, Shu XO, Li H, Yang G, Li Q, Gao YT, et al. Prospective cohort study of soy food consumption and risk of bone fracture among postmenopausal women. Arch Intern Med 2005;165(16):1890-5.
11 Rizzo NS, Sabate J, Jaceldo-Siegl K, Fraser GE. Vegetarian dietary patterns are associated with a lower risk of metabolic syndrome: The Adventist Health Study 2. Diabetes Care 2011.
12 Based on a 2010 water footprint assessment conducted by Silk using the Water Footprint Network methodology and the average annual consumption of Silk by U.S. households.