Much evidence supports the health benefits of consuming a plant-based diet and increasing the intake of legumes and olive oil. Consuming a vegetarian diet is among the strongest determinants of low risk for cardiovascular disease risk, the leading global cause of mortality.
Legumes are rich in fiber and B vitamins and are low in fat and free of cholesterol. Legume intake has been associated with lower serum cholesterol, lower body weight and lower cardiovascular disease risk.
Olive oil is the main source of fat in the Mediterranean diet and is rich in antioxidants. Consumption of olive oil has been associated with increased longevity and reduced risk for Alzheimer disease and breast cancer. Replacing other sources of dietary fat such as animal fat with olive oil has benefits on health ranging from lower serum lipids to reducing cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk.
Olive oil and legumes have beneficial effects on intestinal microbiome diversity and composition with a wide array of potential health benefits yet to be determined.