A new study conducted by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health revealed that consuming a plant-based diet slashes the risk of type 2 diabetes by 20 percent. The study, published in medical journal PLOS Medicine, followed 200,000 men and women for 20 years to reveal that those who consumed a diet rich in plant foods substantially lowered their risk of contracting the disease—with the risk dropping to 34 percent for participants who abstained from refined grains and sugar-sweetened beverages. “This study highlights that even moderate dietary changes in the direction of a healthful plant-based diet can play a significant role in the prevention of type 2 diabetes,” postdoctoral fellow Ambika Satija said. Frank Hu, lead author of the study, elaborated on Satija’s statement, explaining that “a shift to a dietary pattern higher in healthful plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and lower in animal-based foods—especially red and processed meats—can confer substantial health benefits in reducing risk of type 2 diabetes.” Various other studies have proven that consuming a diet devoid of animal products lowers the risk of debilitating diseases, including prostate and colorectal cancers, and heart disease.