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A Plant-Based Diet for Preventing Disease, Does It Work?

WRITTEN BY: HALEY ADAMS

Failed diet attempts are why those with a family or personal history  of obesity, heart disease, or cancer are hesitant to try a plant-based diet. The difference in a fad diet and a plant-based diet is that a plant-based diet is not only a quick and temporary fix or a fleeting trend; it is a sustainable diet that is filled with nutrient-dense foods that may ward off disease.What does a plant based diet look like? A plant-based diet focuses on most calories coming from foods that grow from the earth. When you think plant-based, think whole
grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables as your primary nutrient suppliers. A study following British vegetarians, meat eaters, vegans and fish eaters found that the vegetarian groups (including plant-based vegans) had the lowest rate of cancer development than any other group. While unsure
of if it is consuming large quantities of nutritious plant foods that ward off cancer, or if the animal products themselves are causing cancer, it is apparent that a plant-based diet could be a preventative method in preventing cancer. In November 2018, findings from a 16-week randomized clinical trial were released revealing one group of participants following a plant-based vegan diet and a control group continuing with their omnivorous diet. All 75 participants
had a starting BMI between 28 and 40. This study displayed a dramatic decrease in BMI for only those participants following a plant-based vegan diet, and a decrease in fat mass was also associated with a decrease in animal protein. What does this mean for us? Applying this information to our lifestyles is as simple as adding in recipes that are predominantly plant-based. An easy lunch
to try is a whole grain bowl with quinoa or brown rice, dark leafy greens, chopped tomatoes, avocado, black beans, and your choice of herbs and seasonings. According to the latest research, you can be trying new recipes, feeling healthier and fighting disease while you are at it.
References:
incident cancers in a cohort of 32,491 meat eaters, 8612 fish eaters, 18,298 vegetarians, and 2246 vegans.
Accessed February 5th, 2019.
2 Pub Med Central, A plant-based diet in overweight individuals in a 16-week randomized clinical trial:
metabolic benefits of plant protein. Accessed February 5th, 2019.