The Science of Plant-Based Nutrition and Health

Nearly Half of Deaths from Heart Disease, Stroke, Obesity, and Type 2 Diabetes May Be Prevented with Improved Nutrition, According to a New Review Published in Nutrients

Plant-based eating patterns continue to soar in popularity and a group of nutrition researchers outline the science behind this sustainable trend in a review paper, entitled “Cardiometabolic benefits of plant-based diets,” which appears as an online advance in the Aug. 9, 2017, edition of Nutrients.  The review will publish in a future special edition, entitled “The Science of Vegetarian Nutrition and Health.”

The review outlines how a plant-based diet, which is naturally low in calories, saturated fat, and cholesterol, and rich in nutrients, like fiber and antioxidants, could  be one tool, in addition to adopting a healthful lifestyle, used to improve nutrition intake and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

The authors, Hana Kahleova, M.D., Ph.D., Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., and Neal Barnard, M.D., F.A.C.C., analyzed clinical research studies and reviews published until May 2017. Their research finds a plant-based diet, built around vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes, can improve nutrient intake and help manage body weight and glycemic control, improve cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and reverse atherosclerosis, or the narrowing of the arteries caused by the accumulation of arterial plaque.

“The future of health care starts on our plates,” says Dr. Kahleova, the lead study author and the director of clinical research at the nonprofit Physicians Committee. “The science clearly shows food is medicine, which is a powerful message for physicians to pass on to their patients and for policymakers to consider as they propose modifications for health care reform and discuss potential amendment to the 2018 Farm Bill.”

To understand the health benefits of a plant-based diet, the researchers analyze its structure:

Fiber

Fiber contributes to bulk in the diet without adding digestible calories, thus leading to satiety and weight loss. Additionally, soluble fiber binds with bile acids in the small intestines, which helps reduce cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar.

Plant-Based Rx: Aim to eat at least 35 grams of dietary fiber a day. The average American consumes 16 grams of dietary fiber each day.

Fats

Plant-based diets are lower in saturated fat and dietary cholesterol. Replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats can decrease insulin resistance, a risk factor for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

Plant-Based Rx: Swap meat and dairy products, oils, and high-fat processed foods for smaller portions of plant staples, like a few avocado slices or a small handful of nuts and seeds, which are rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.

Plant Protein

Vegetable proteins reduce the concentrations of blood lipids, reduce the risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease, and may have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects.

Plant-Based Rx: Legumes, or lentils, beans, and peas, are naturally rich in protein and fiber. Try topping leafy green salads with lentils, black beans, edamame, or chickpeas.

Plant Sterols 

Plant sterols that have a structure similar to that of cholesterol reduce cardiovascular disease risk and mortality, have anti-inflammatory effects, and positively affect coagulation, platelet function and endothelial function, which helps reduce blood clots, increases blood flow, and stabilizes glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Plant-Based Rx: Consume a high intake of antioxidants and micronutrients, including plant sterols, from whole plant foods, like vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, beans, and seeds. A plant-based diet supports cardio-metabolic benefits through several independent mechanisms. The synergistic effect of whole plant foods may be greater than a mere additional effect of eating isolated nutrients.

“To make significant health changes, we have to make significant diet changes,” concludes Dr. Kahleova. “A colorful plant-based diet works well for anyone, whether you’re an athlete looking to boost energy, performance, and recovery by enabling a higher efficiency of blood flow, which equates to oxygen conversion, or if you’re a physician who wants to help patients lose extra weight, lower blood pressure, and improve their cholesterol.”

Dr. Kahleova and the study authors recommend using a plant-based diet as an effective tool to treat and prevent cardiometaoblic disease, which they would like to see promoted through future dietary guidelines and nutrition policy recommendations.

For more information about plant-based eating patterns, visit NutritionMD.org.

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Elements Restaurant at Bucuti & Tara Resort: Natural & Organic Dining By the Sea

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Experienced by Kimatni & Misa Rawlins

We were looking for a blend of health conscious culinary experiences alongside fine dining and found the precise place. Just two years old, the luxuriant Elements Restaurant is nestled within the Bucuti & Tara resort on Aruba’s Eagle Beach. Hosting adults only, my wife Misa and I enjoyed a full-on vegan collection of exquisite, warm and chilled selections. There was nothing more enchanting during our Aruban vacation than natural and organic dining by the sea.

“The dining experience is an extension of our commitment to a sense of total wellness, providing guests with a beautiful atmosphere and wholesome dinner options, which include organic/natural, vegetarian/vegan, gluten-free and world cuisine,” stated Owner and Managing Director Ewald Biemans.

Vegan_Elements_Restaurant_Bucuti_Tara_Resort...11To begin the romantic evening Elements’ viscous Broccoli & Carrot soup along with a refreshing Caesar Salad with avocados tickled our pallets. For the entrees, Misa ordered the Quinoa Pineapple dish consisting of quinoa sautéed with a medley of vegetables creatively stuffed in the shell of a whole pineapple, and then flamed in front of us with Caribbean rum. I went with the Wheat Spaghetti featuring squash pasta, tomatillos, leeks and Quorn which was enhanced with garlic, Dijon mustard and Riesling wine. Dessert consisted of the Panna Cotta, a chilly assortment of almond milk, coconut milk and cacao simmered together and topped with chopped nuts.

Misa and I were seated outside on a patio atop the pristine, white sandy beach where the Caribbean waters were calm, palm trees whistled gently from the soft breezes and the temperament was as romantic as a sunset wedding. You may also pay a bit more to dine in a private palapa directly on the sand. Other items guests may fancy include the Garden Fresh Salad, Mediterranean Mezze Chili Hummus (chickpea puree with chili pepper), Couscous Zucchini medallions dusted with fresh herbs, carefully blended Potato Leek Soup, Carrot Ginger Soup, Polenta Galettes served over a bed of lentils and much more.

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We do suggest you book at Elements Restaurant during your next getaway to Aruba. For reservations between 6:00 pm and 10:30 pm please visit: http://www.elementsaruba.com/reservations. It’s simply amazing!

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Meet Chef Babette Davis from Stuff I Eat

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Meet Vegan Pro and Chef Babette Davis! She’s 64 years of age, a mostly raw vegan, restaurant owner of Stuff I Eat in Inglewood, CA, and full of tantalizing life energy. Her goal is the continuation of healthful information to open the eyes of the masses while guiding them to Nutritional Freedom. Especially within inner city communities where the disconnect is the largest. One Love!

McDonald’s Trolls Foodies In Its New ‘Brand Transformation’ Commercial

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The best their billion dollar ad budget could do is dis quinoa, kale and vegetarians? Anything to save market share, but what McDonald’s fails to realize is that the world is finally waking up to the benefits of real food, home-cooked meals and plant nutrition. There is no good end to digesting processed, GMO-laced, oiled and empty calories aka fast food. Eat clean people.

View the sad commercial here

Moo Shoo Vegetables and Curry Cauliflower

10687082_1507271159514760_6028428184031654325_nThe Raw Special at STUFF I EAT by Chef Babette Davis

– Veggies

5 cups of thinly sliced green cabbage

1/2 cup of sliced green onions

2 cups of sliced portobello or shiitake mushrooms

Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl

 

– Hoisin Sauce

4 tbsps of braggs liquid aminos

1/4 cup of peanut or almond butter

3 tbsps of agave or desired sweetener

3 garlic cloves

2 tbsps of lemon juice

1 tbsp of fresh ginger

2 tbsps of sesame oil

3/4 cup of water

Blend ingredients and pour over veggies and then add 2 tbsps of black sesame seeds.

Moo Shoo Vegetables and Curry Cauliflower! Raw special today at STUFF I EAT– Curry Cauliflower

1/2 cup of coconut milk

1/4 orange or yellow bell pepper

2 tsps of curry powder

2 garlic cloves

1 cup of raw cashews

1 tbsp of braggs liquid aminos

1 tsp of no salt seasoning

1 tbsp of red miso paste

Blend all ingredients.

– Veggies

4 cups of cauliflower florets

1 cup of peas

1/2 red onion sliced

1/4 cup of green onions

1 cup of baby bella mushrooms

Add sauce to veggies and get ready to digest purity!

 

LA Raw Foodie Report: Santa Monica presents M.A.K.E.

MAKE_Restaurant_MG_0743Consider raw. Now those are two words that can get even the most diligent of vegans a bit nervous as to what to expect. Definition? A raw food diet consists of unprocessed vegan foods that have not been heated above 115 degrees Fahrenheit. “Raw foodists” believe that foods cooked above this temperature have lost a significant amount of their nutritional value and are harmful to the body. Sounds a bit bland and unfinished, right? Wrong! If you would have asked me the same question over the summer I would have said yes, but I humbly sing a different tune after being bitten by the raw food bug while visiting Santa Monica. [Read more…]