Ilnesses caused by diets are at a record high and becoming vegan could save the NHS at least £30 billion, a medical professional has said.
Dr Shireen Kassam, founder of the Plant Based Health Professionals network, said that according to a Taiwanese study, vegetarians have a lowe rate of outpatient doctor visits due to their healthier diets, rich in fruits, vegetables and wholegrains.
The study Kassam quoted found this meant 15 per cent less medical spending per individual compared to those who eat meat, especially for chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure, heart disease and depression.
Less prescription medications for vegans than for meat-eaters
“The climate crisis really is a health crisis and we can’t detach the two,” she told Metro.
“Moving towards a plant-based food system is clearly one of the biggest impacts we can have [on the environment], but I think people forget it’s a personal health issue too.”
Studies showed vegan diets meant 58 per cent less prescription medications than meat-eaters – as well as a reduced risk of getting Covid.
And, according to Kassam, healthy vegan diets reduce the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, high blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity, and type two diabetes.
She said: “Our every day work is preventable chronic illness.
“Almost 80 per cent of what we do is dedicated to diet and lifestyle-related illnesses that need not occur… and then you’d be left with accidents and emergencies.
‘We are living 12 years in ill health’
“We’re living 12 years on average in ill health, which requires use of healthcare, and social care.”
She added: “We know that a vegan or vegetarian diet reduces the incidence of heart disease by about 25 per cent and type two diabetes by over 50 per cent. Vegans have a 15 per cent reduction in cancer incidence as well.
“You’re much more likely to have a normal cholesterol on a vegan diet.
“We could all have our last chicken meal, and never eat meat again and nothing [bad] would happen to us.”
Meanwhile, Veganuary searches are up a staggering 3,044 per cent from last year, according to the world’s largest dedicated online grocery retailer.
Veganuary online searches experience boom
Ocado reports that Google searches have increased by a staggering amount year-on-year, suggesting that the majority of Brits are taking part this month in some way.
The results coincide with Deliveroo figures which show a huge increase in demand for vegan food in the last twelve months, with orders of plant-based dishes up 117 per cent on the previous year.
According to the food-delivery giant, the first week of January 2021 saw a 153 per cent rise in searches for ‘vegan’ food in the app compared to the month before.
The online food delivery service reported that more restaurants than ever have introduced plant-based menus and dishes to their regular offering and there are now over 15,000 plant-based and vegan-friendly restaurants available in the UK.
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