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Switching to a Vegan or Plant-Based Diet Can Help Reduce Grocery Bills for People with Overweight

A recent study suggests that adopting a vegan or plant-based diet can result in significant cost savings on groceries for individuals with overweight. The study involved 244 adults with overweight who were randomly assigned to either switch to a vegan diet or continue their usual eating habits for 16 weeks. The vegan diet excluded all forms of meat, eggs, dairy, and other animal products.

Key Findings:

  • Participants who switched to a vegan diet spent approximately 16 percent less on food during the study.
  • People who stuck with their regular diets didn’t experience significant changes in their grocery bills.
  • Buying fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans, while avoiding animal products, led to the most savings.
  • Although spending on fruits and vegetables increased in a vegan diet, the savings from eliminating animal products exceeded the additional spending on plant-based foods.
  • Savings from a vegan diet can amount to over $10 per week for an individual and more than $500 annually. For a family of four, the savings can exceed $2,000 annually.

Additional Insights:

  • The study didn’t account for spending on alcohol.
  • People who switch to plant-based diets might not spend as much on meat and dairy alternatives as they would on real meat and milk.
  • Preparing whole foods from scratch at home can further maximize savings on a vegan diet.

Partial Vegan or Plant-Based Approaches:

  • Individuals who aren’t ready to go completely vegan can still achieve cost savings and health benefits by adopting a part-time plant-based diet that reduces meat portions.
  • Reducing animal flesh intake to a serving the size of the palm of one’s hand every other day can be a starting point.
  • Initiatives like “Meatless Mondays” and plant-based dishes that mimic comfort foods can make the transition easier.
  • Simple swaps, such as opting for pasta with meatless marinara sauce or a black bean burger instead of a beef burger, can help individuals gradually shift to a plant-based diet.

The study highlights the potential for individuals with overweight to save money on groceries while improving their dietary choices by adopting a vegan or plant-based diet.

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