DietsNutritionPlant Based Diet

Top Mythis about Whole Foods Plant Based Diets Part 1

Here is Part 1 of our series discussing the top myths around a 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.

PROTEIN:

  • Vegetarian and vegan diets meet or exceed recommended protein intakes.
  • Regular use of soy and legumes will ensure adequate protein intake.

N-3 FATTY ACIDS:

  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
  • Long chain n-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) important for development and maintenance of the brain, eyes, cell membranes, pregnancy and cardiovascular diseases.α-linolenic acid (ALA) is converted to EPA and DHA in the body. Men should get 1.6 grams/day and women should get 1.1 grams/day of ALA.
  • α-linolenic acid (ALA) is converted to EPA and DHA in the body. Men should get 1.6 grams/day and women should get 1.1 grams/day of ALA.The best plant sources of ALA are: flax seeds, chia seeds, camelina seeds, canola seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts and their oils
  • The best plant sources of ALA are: flax seeds, chia seeds, camelina seeds, canola seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts and their oilsNote: high intakes of linoleic acid (vegetable oils, safflower oils) may reduce the conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA.
  • Note: high intakes of linoleic acid (vegetable oils, safflower oils) may reduce the conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA.

IRON:

  • Vegetarians generally consume as much or slightly more iron than omnivores.
  • Iron stores of vegetarians are less than nonvegetarians.-Elevated iron stores (high ferritin levels) independently associated with risk of metabolic syndrome.
  • Elevated iron stores (high ferritin levels) independently associated with risk of metabolic syndrome.-Absorption of non-heme iron from plant foods depends on the body’s need and regulated partially by the body’s iron stores.
  • Absorption of non-heme iron from plant foods depends on the body’s need and regulated partially by the body’s iron stores.

REFERENCE:

Melina V, Craig W, Levin S. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Vegetarian Diets. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2016;116:1970-1980.

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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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2 thoughts on “Top Mythis about Whole Foods Plant Based Diets Part 1”

  1. Thank you dr Sean!! You make nutrition ever so easy to understand. There is so much more we want to know i.e. what exactly is a plant based diet? How does one stick to something past a 21 day challenge? Can we have a quick tip at the end of every video with a small cool change we can make today?
    Thanks!!!

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