Plant-Based Diets - A Physician’s Guide May 10, 2017 08:43

ABSTRACT

Because of the ever-increasing body of evidence in support of the health advantages of plant-based nutrition, there is a need for guidance on implementing its practice.

This article provides physicians and other health care practitioners an overview of the myriad benefits of a plant-based diet as well as details on how best to achieve a well-balanced, nutrient-dense plan.

It also defines notable nutrient sources, describes how to get started, and offers suggestions on how health care practitioners can encourage their patients to achieve goals, adhere to the plan, and experience success. 

SUMMARY OF HEALTH BENEFITS

Plant-based nutrition has exploded in popularity, and many advantages have been well documented over the past several decades. Not only is there a broad expansion of the research database supporting the myriad benefits of plant-based diets, but also health care practitioners are seeing awe-inspiring results with their patients across multiple unique subspecialties. Plant-based diets have been associated with lowering overall and ischemic heart disease mortality supporting sustainable weight management reducing medication needs4-6; lowering the risk for most chronic diseases decreasing the incidence and severity of high-risk conditions, including obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and hyperglycemia and even possibly reversing advanced coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes.

The reason for these outcomes is twofold. First, there are inherent benefits to eating a wide variety of health-promoting plants. Second, there is additional benefit from crowding out—and thereby avoiding—the injurious constituents found in animal products.

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Citation: Hever J. Plant-based diets: A physician’s guide.

The Permanente Journal/Perm J 2016 Summer;20(3):15-082