Plant Based Diet

What does “plant based” mean?

A plant based diet encourages the intake of non-processed foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and minimized processed foods, oils and animal products. It is generally low in fat (around 10%) moderate amounts of protein, and unlimited leafy greens and colorful vegetables and fruits. The idea is to eat whole foods rather than foods out of packages.

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What eating a plant based diet can improve

Diabetes: Research has shown that people on the low-fat vegan diet reduced their HbA1C levels by 1.23 points, compared with 0.38 points for the people on the American Diabetes Association diet, which includes meat and animal products. You do not need to be vegan for these benefits, but those following a plant based diet were more likely to lower their Diabetic medications than those who ate meat more regularly.

Cardiovascular or Heart Disease: 82% of patients diagnosed with Heart Disease had some regression of atherosclerosis and LDL (the ‘bad’ cholesterol) decreased by 40% in the first year, both of which can help decrease symptoms and progression of heart disease.

High Blood Pressure: Vegetarian diets are associated with both low systolic and diastolic blood pressures.

Overall risk of death: Low meat intake has been associated with longevity and decreased mortality. The risk of cardiovascular disease, ischemic stroke and all-cause mortality are all significantly decreased by decreasing meat consumption while increasing fruit and vegetable intake.

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1)      Tuso P, Ismail M, Ha B, Bartolotto C. Nutritional update for physicians: plant-based diets. The Permanente Journal. 2013;17(2):61-66.

All pictures are from

Angie Hammer