More than 100,000 postmenopausal women were studied for 20 years. Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA) published the study recently.
The study results show that plant-based protein sources cause fewer deaths. The study related to dementia and heart diseases. It compared the animal-based proteins like red meat and dairy.
Dr. Jennifer Ashton is ABC News chief medical correspondent and a board-certified OB-GYN. She says there are two working theories in medical and nutritional science literature. The benefits of plant-based diets are:
1. The first deals with inflammation from eating animal-based protein
2. The second concerns food that improves good gut microbes
Ashton explains that when she adopted a plant-based diet for three weeks. She saw a drop in her bad cholesterol level, or LDL, and weight.
It is consistent with other research findings as well as my own clinical experience.
In my practice as a Lifestyle Physician, I have been advocating a Whole Food Plant Based diet to my patients.
In fact, when it comes to coronary heart disease, Dr. Dean Ornish conclusively proved it. A Whole Food Plant Based Diet along with other positive lifestyle changes halts the progress of the disease. It actually reverses it, too.
A whole food plant based diet is the ONLY therapy proven to reverse the No.1 cause of death worldwide.
Origin of the word “Whole Food Plant Based Diet”
T. Colin Campbell, PhD is the author of The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health. He coined the term 'Whole Food Plant Based Diet.' The story behind the term is an
He compared the diets and health status of rural Chinese to Americans. He found that that the top killers in the US - heart disease and cancers - were practically absent in China!
His research showed that this was primarily due to their diet and lifestyle. Animal foods seemed to be the top dietary cause of these disease, so he named the healthy diet the Chinese followed, the Plant Based Diet in 1982 .
He quickly realised that this definition alone is not enough. By definition, chips and soda are still plant based. So, he added another dimension to the definition and called it the Whole Food Plant Based Diet.
Plant-based diets in Popular Culture
Over the last decade, awareness around the benefits of a plant-based diet has been presented through many mediums.
Documentaries have been a powerful and popular medium with several well-made ones. Brian Wendel made a documentary in 2011 titled ‘Forks Over Knives.' He attended a nutrition conference in 2001. He adopted a plant-based diet and wrote a best-selling book which popularised the idea.
Recently, The Game Changers, is another powerful documentary. It tells the story of a former MMA fighter, who gave up meat.
The documentary throws light on several competitive athletes. They adopted a plant-based diet. They not only thrived, but also
seen improvements in athletic performance and overall health.
These documentaries have catapulted a plant-based diet to the mainstream. Today, we see several celebrities endorse the same.
Environmental Impact of a Plant-based Diet
Deirdre K Tobias is from the Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health. Tobias observes that a plant-based diet might significantly reduce environmental damages.
For instance, the carbon footprint of a hamburger is much higher than that of a vegetable burger.
The Impossible Burger is a company engaged in producing plant-based meat substitutes.
When compared to regular hamburgers, They claim to use:
- 87% less water
- 96% less land
- emits 89% fewer greenhouse gases
Is Vegan the Same as Whole Food Plant Based?
Vegetarian and vegan diets tell me what you DON'T eat, but they don't tell me what you eat. Vegetarians avoid meat, fish and eggs. Vegans avoid dairy products and honey too.
But either could be consuming plenty of vegetarian or vegan junk food, oily food, or sweetened beverages.
On the other hand, a whole food plant based diet tells me what you DO eat - a diet rich in unprocessed plant foods.
A Whole Food Plant Based Diet is not a diet in the traditional sense of the word. It is a way of eating that encompasses foods that are health promoting - unprocessed plant foods and mushrooms.
A well planned whole food plant based meal has shown to prevent, treat and in some cases, potentially reverse chronic lifestyle diseases including diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, obesity, asthma, and even some types of cancers.
Powering the Plant-based Revolution in India
This is the foundation of my practice as a lifestyle physician.
Over the years, my evidence based practice has led me to help several of my patients better manage and even reverse coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, PCOS, Infertility, asthma among several others.
When they make a complete dietary shift, their LDLs come back to normal, they see better hemoglobin levels, and move towards their ideal weight among other changes.
This is just the tip of the iceberg.
The results that I see in my patients combined with the best available balance of evidence drive me to work towards creating more impact in the space.
- heart disease in the No.1 cause of death in Indians;
- India is the diabetic capital of the world;
- hypertension is the biggest risk factor for death in India.
We already have a solution to the biggest health issues that threatens us today. My work now is in ensuring that the solution is put to practice!
If there is anything I can do for you, please feel free to fix an appointment with me. I will be happy to listen and guide you personally.
Are you into plant-based meals? Comment below. Looking forward to hearing from you.