Plant Based Diets and Covid-19: Summarising New Research

Hi everyone, I hope you are all well and having a great week. I am very sorry that I missed a blog post last week. I have been VERY busy! I am hoping to release a blog post every Wednesday! What do you think about this day? A good day for it? Let me know in the comments!

Anyway, I have something very interesting for you this week. I love when new and interesting studies come out on topical and important issues! There is nothing more topical than COVID and what on earth we are planning to do about it!

We all know I love a natural solution to these things! This research is very promising and will be making a lot of people very happy. I know I am very happy to see such promising results in this field.

What did this research tell us? I read over this study and highlighted all the important parts so you don’t have to read it!

The study was conducted on 2884 front-line healthcare workers with substantial exposure to COVID-19 patients from 6 countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK and USA – most of the participants were located in the USA) completed an online survey (food frequency questionnaire). The participants provided information on their location, dietary information and COVID-19 outcomes.

There were 568 COVID-19 cases and 2316 controls (people without exposure to COVID-19 patients).

  • 138 of these individuals had moderate to severe COVID severity
  • 430 of these individuals had very mild to mild COVID severity

The main findings

  1. Participants who reported following a plant-based diet had a 73% lesser risk of moderate to severe COVID.
  2. Participants who reported following a plant-based and pescatarian diet had a 59% lesser risk of moderate to severe COVID.
  3. Participants who followed a low carbohydrate and high protein diet had greater odds of moderate to severe COVID.

When referring to ‘plant-based diets’ and ‘plant-based and pescatarian diets’ this study specifically looks at the diets of those that consume more vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts and legumes as these diets tend to be higher in these food groups. These results do not apply to “unhealthy vegan” diets.

The survey conducted on the participants food choices included food groups and they were asked to suggest how much of particular foods they consumed within a year. This was based on long-term diets of individuals. The table below shows some of these food groups.

Wow! They are staggering results. Almost an 80% less risk of moderate to severe COVID severity when following a plant-based diet.

The results are still very promising for pescatarian diets. As an assumption, I imagine the vegetarian diets would be similar if not more promising than pescatarian due to the lack of meat and fish (dependant on nutrient intake). These results for pescatarian diets seem to be attributed to omega 3 and the ratio between omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.

Fish receive omega 3 from enriched algae. The fish is the middle-man from the plant to us. You can still have amazing sources of omega 3 from plant sources: flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, fortified foods, a good vegan supplement from algae (to name a few). As we can see the research suggests that plant-based diets are more beneficial towards COVID – omega 3 mustn’t be an issue!

Very interesting findings for low carbohydrate, high protein diets worsening the severity of COVID. Bad news for the ketogenic diet followers and lovers!

The research shows again and again more recently that the more plant based the diet, the healthier the body and more likely it is to fight against disease with a strong immune system.

This is a fascinating study with a large population size and diverse population from six countries. Of course, all studies have flaws. Self-reported dietary questionnaires can be very unreliable due to recall bias (you can lie if you want). This particular population included health care workers and there is no real reason to lie.

What do you think about these results?

I have a few other blog posts on here about vegan and plant-based diets that you should check out if you are interested. Maybe, this will convince you to eat more plants (if you don’t already).

Any step in the right direction is a massive help to your health. You can do it!

This is my first time doing a blog post like this. Let me know what you think of this style. I find it’s great to simply complicated and long studies like this! You can find all my details in the ‘Contact Me’ page on this blog.

Thank you for reading. Every single one of you are amazing to me.

This week’s podcast episode:

2 thoughts on “Plant Based Diets and Covid-19: Summarising New Research

  1. As a newish vegan who follows at WFPB diet, I was psyched when I read this study. Thank you for sharing about it–it’s important to people to know!

    Liked by 1 person

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