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Plant-Based Meals Reduce Severe COVID-19 Risks

Plate of plant based foods including potatoes, corn and greens on a counter

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Eating more plants than meat is not only good for the planet, it might also be protective against COVID-19 severity, reports a new study in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health. Researchers from Johns Hopkins and other universities analyzed web-based responses from almost 2,900 frontline doctors and nurses in the U.S., France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK that had been significantly exposed to COVID-19, 95 percent of which were doctors and 70 percent males. Those that ate a plant-based diet, described as high in vegetables, legumes and nuts, and low in poultry and meats, were 73 percent less likely to contract moderate to severe COVID-19. Those with pescatarian diets allowing fish were 59 percent less likely. However, those following low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets had 48 percent greater odds of moderate to severe COVID-19. “Our results suggest that a healthy diet rich in nutrient-dense foods may be considered for protection against severe COVID-19,” researchers concluded.

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