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Posted on / Dr. Susan Wilder

Put Your Plants On: The Benefits of Plant-Based Eating

My staff and I recite the mantra “plant-based” so often its imprinted in our brains but what does plant-based really mean and why is it so critical to your health?

Eating “plant-based” means the majority of your intake comes from plant sources, a prime principal that will be taught in Reimagine: Reset + Renew that kicks off January 13th.

You need not resort to being vegetarian or vegan but rather, we want everyone to find the diet that works best for you and help you become mindful of how what you eat impacts your physiology.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest declared American’s unhealthy diet is the single biggest contributor to premature death and disability.

How many of us were raised on TV dinners, Kraft Mac & Cheese, Kellogg’s cereals, and fast food? Over 60% of our dietary intake consists of highly processed foods, contributing to approximately 678,000 deaths each year in the U.S., due to nutrition- and obesity-related diseases. In the last 30 years, obesity rates have doubled in adults, tripled in children, and quadrupled in adolescents.

With all the diet fads being tossed about, every diet proven to improve health outcomes shares these common principles:

  • Whole food focus (foods your great-grandmother would recognize)
  • Emphasis on phytonutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains and legumes, and plant-based monounsaturated fats (nuts, seeds, avocado, olive)
  • Avoidance of refined/processed foods (foods with a label full of ingredients that don’t qualify as foods), added sugars or artificial sweeteners, refined grains, saturated fats, and processed meats
  • Healthy protein sources

Michael Pollan had the simplest diet guidance, “Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants.” He also reminds us, “If it’s delivered through the window of your car, it’s not food.”



Reimagine: Reset + Renew Healthy Eating Program
Join Dana Bosselmann in Reimagine: A whole person integrated approach designed to cultivate long-lasting lifestyle changes. Click here to learn more.



Benefits of Shifting to Plant-Based

Blue Zones blog recently expounded on what happens when you shift plant-based:

  • Boost healthy immune system and gut microbiome
  • Improved mood and sleep within weeks
  • Reduced inflammation within days
  • Improved hormone production/balance
  • Improved  clearance of toxins
  • Improved satiety and weight loss (the more plant-based you shift, the more weight lost)
  • Reduced all-cause mortality (JAHA study all-cause mortality drops 25% w/ plant-based diet, 30% with “healthy” plant-based diet (avoiding refined/processed foods)
  • Reduced risk of many health problems
    • Hypertension – many studies show vegetarians have >30% lower risk of hypertension
    • Heart disease Aug 2019 Journal AHA plant-based diet reduced risk of dying of heart disease 31%
    • Obesity & Type 2 diabetes significantly lower in vegetarians/vegans
    • Many cancers (especially colon, breast, prostate, lung, uterine)
    • Cognitive impairment/dementia – 2017 study in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience found that for each extra 100grams of fruits and vegetables daily (1/2 cups) reduced cognitive impairment/dementia risk 13%

Take Meaningful Action: Simple Strategies to Get Started

But information is only as helpful as our ability to take meaningful action which is why we devote so much energy to nutrition education. Here are a few simple strategies to start making the plant-based shift:

#1: Understand perfection and deprivation are not the goal – focus on adding more healthful foods

#2: Take a quick view of your fridge and pantry and pull out any packaged, refined, processed foods (foods that have a label with any refined starches, added sugars, or ingredients not found in nature)
 
#3: Shop the periphery & skip the soda, juice, snack, cereal, canned food & bakery aisles of the grocery store (Seek frozen or prepared meals that list whole food ingredients only)
 
#4: Commit to 1 plant-based meal daily and 1 plant-based day per week

#5: Explore and collect your favorite 5 healthy and yummy plant-based breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks

#6: Check out farmer’s markets, community gardens, or start growing your own favorites

#7: Find a couple favorite plant-based restaurants and cookbooks
 
#8: Consider the 6 S’s to boost veggie intake
  • Soups
  • Salads
  • Smoothies
  • Stews/chili
  • Stir Fry/Bowls
  • Sauces made with nuts, seeds, healthy oils, herbs
#9: Get sufficient protein when eating plant based by assuring good protein source with each meal
 
#10: Plant-based cheats
  • Frozen vegetables
  • Organic green juices
  • Precut veggies
  • Make ahead veggie-full soups, egg bites, chili, sauces, frozen meals

I guarantee, making small shifts, continuously over time, will have major impact on your quality of life and we have an incredible resource in Dana to help you on your journey to better health.


Join Reimagine: Reset + Renew

There is no better time than now to engage, reclaim and renew your healthiest self ever! Register for our Reimagine: Reset & Renew Healthy Eating Program today to reserve your space.

Register Now

 

good eating habits, Nutrition & Diet

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