DietsHealthNutritionPlant Based Diet

4 Amazing health benefits of a Whole Foods Plant Based Diet

Whole Foods Plant Based Diet Definition

  • Consists of whole or minimally processed plants such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes. It tends to minimize or exclude animal-based products such as meat, dairy, eggs.

1. Weight loss

  • Adventist Health Study -2 and EPIC-Oxford Study showed: highest weight in meat eaters and lowest in vegans.
  • Sweedish Mammography Cohort Study: Prevalence of obesity 40% in meat eaters and 25% in vegetarians.
  • In a 2015 meta-analysis, vegetarian diets were associated with greater weight loss than omnivore diets.

2. Heart Disease and Hypertension

  • EPIC-Oxford study showed: vegans ate the most fiber; had the least total, and saturated fat intake; had the healthiest cholesterol compared with meat-eaters.
  • Adventist Health Study-2 showed vegetarian with 13% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and 19% reduced risk of ischemic heart disease.
  • EPIC-Oxford study showed vegetarians had 32% lower risk of hospitalization or death from heart disease.
  • EPIC-Oxford study showed that vegans had the lowest blood pressure of all diet groups (vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians, omnivores).

3. Diabetes

  • Adventist Health Study -2 showed that meat eaters had 2x prevalence of diabetes than lacto-ovo-vegetarians and vegans
  • Vegans were 62% less likely than vegetarians to develop diabetes
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarians were 38% less likely to develop diabetes
  • 3 servings daily of whole grains daily had 32% reduction in risk of diabetes
  • 2 servings per week of walnuts associated with 33% reduction in diabetes risk

4. Cancer

  • Vegan diets have 35% lower risk of prostate cancer
  • Vegetarians have 18% lower overall cancer incidence than nonvegetarians
  • EPIC trial showed 25% reduction in risk of colorectal cancer with highest fiber intake
  • The relative risk of colorectal polyps 27% higher with 100 grams of red meat intake and 29% higher with 50 grams of processed meat intake.
  • Key phytochemicals for cancer protection may be sulforaphane, ferulic acid, genistein, indole-3-carbinol, curcumin, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, diallyldisulfide, resveratrol, lycopene, quercetin.

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Dr. Sean

Sean Hashmi, MD, MS, FASN is a practicing Nephrologist and Obesity Medicine Specialist in Southern California. He is founding director of SELFPrinciple.org, a non-profit, non-commercial site focused on evidence based nutrition, health, and wellness.
Dr. Hashmi graduated from the University of California, San Diego Medical School. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at UCLA-Olive View Medical Center followed by a fellowship in Nephrology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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