A plant-based diet is often touted as the healthiest approach to eating, and its benefits extend way beyond weight loss. For years, registered dietitians and food scientists alike have touted the perks of eating plants and cutting back on meat. And it seems people are catching on. A study published in The Permanente Journal in the summer of notes that plant-based diets have gone mainstream — partly because the advantages have been well researched and healthcare practitioners recommend this way of eating as many have seen incredible results from their patients. Going plant based is not so much a diet as it is a general approach to eating. She says that for current meat eaters, dismissing animal foods across the board can make mealtimes stressful and make it challenging to source micronutrients that are hard to come by in plant-based foods, such as B12 and iron. High blood pressure, or hypertension, can increase the risk for health issues, including heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, according to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Several studies have shown that sticking with a plant-based diet can reduce blood pressure, thereby reducing your risk for those conditions.
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The objective of this article is to present to physicians an update on plant-based diets. Concerns about the rising cost of health care are being voiced nationwide, even as unhealthy lifestyles are contributing to the spread of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. For these reasons, physicians looking for cost-effective interventions to improve health outcomes are becoming more involved in helping their patients adopt healthier lifestyles. Healthy eating may be best achieved with a plant-based diet, which we define as a regimen that encourages whole, plant-based foods and discourages meats, dairy products, and eggs as well as all refined and processed foods. We present a case study as an example of the potential health benefits of such a diet. Research shows that plant-based diets are cost-effective, low-risk interventions that may lower body mass index, blood pressure, HbA 1C, and cholesterol levels.