A large number of studies following hundreds of thousands of people over decades have shown us that certain styles of eating protect us against disease. The bacteria living in our gut (our biome) change by how we eat and this affects how we absorb nutrients, how our genes are controlled (epigenetics) and even how happy we feel!
Look into this in more detail with the articles at the bottom of this page
I advocate a whole food plant based (WFPB) diet.
Ultimately how we eat comes down to our own habits, knowledge, personal preferences, values and priorities. From a health point of view, the volume of research that suggests that our diet should predominantly be made up of whole foods and plants is overwhelming and unequivocal. As stated in this report from the World Health Organisation:
"Studies of food and health relationships have consistently highlighted associations between low intakes of plant-based foods as well as high intakes of animal products and ultra-processed foods, and poor health outcomes"
Whether you want to include some fish, meat, dairy or eggs is up to you. My own feeling is that if definitions are going to restrict or impede you from making better choices it is far better to avoid them. So ultimately it is better to include more plants in your diet and not worry about becoming whole food plant based than to throw the baby out with the bathwater and not even attempt dietary improvements. As with every bit of advice on this site the governing principal is “ Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good”.
Many people chose to be vegan due to animal welfare and environmental reasons and if this is the case it is useful to know the enormous added health benefits and occasional caveats to be aware of.
We believe eating should be a joy. It should not be about guilt or calorie counting or merely a functional process. By following certain evidence based principles you can improve your wellbeing, keep a healthy weight and optimise your healthspan.