4 Amazing health benefits of a Whole Foods Plant Based Diet

Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet Definition

  • Consists of whole or minimally processed plants such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes. It tends to minimize or exclude animal-based products such as meat, dairy, eggs.

1. Weight loss

  • Adventist Health Study -2 and EPIC-Oxford Study showed: highest weight in meat-eaters and lowest in vegans.
  • Sweedish Mammography Cohort Study: Prevalence of obesity 40% in meat eaters and 25% in vegetarians.
  • In a 2015 meta-analysis, vegetarian diets were associated with greater weight loss than omnivore diets.

2. Heart Disease and Hypertension

  • The EPIC-Oxford study showed: vegans ate the most fiber; had the least total, and saturated fat intake; had the healthiest cholesterol compared with meat-eaters.
  • Adventist Health Study-2 showed vegetarian with 13% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and 19% reduced risk of ischemic heart disease.
  • The EPIC-Oxford study showed vegetarians had a 32% lower risk of hospitalization or death from heart disease.
  • The EPIC-Oxford study showed that vegans had the lowest blood pressure of all diet groups (vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians, omnivores).

3. Diabetes

  • Adventist Health Study -2 showed that meat-eaters had 2x prevalence of diabetes than lacto-ovo-vegetarians and vegans
  • Vegans were 62% less likely than vegetarians to develop diabetes
  • Lacto-Ovo vegetarians were 38% less likely to develop diabetes
  • 3 servings daily of whole grains daily had a 32% reduction in risk of diabetes
  • 2 servings per week of walnuts associated with a 33% reduction in diabetes risk

4. Cancer

  • Vegan diets have a 35% lower risk of prostate cancer
  • Vegetarians have 18% lower overall cancer incidence than nonvegetarians
  • The EPIC trial showed a 25% reduction in risk of colorectal cancer with the highest fiber intake
  • The relative risk of colorectal polyps 27% higher with 100 grams of red meat intake and 29% higher with 50 grams of processed meat intake.
  • Key phytochemicals for cancer protection may be sulforaphane, ferulic acid, genistein, indole-3-carbinol, curcumin, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, diallyl disulfide, resveratrol, lycopene, quercetin.


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Sean Hashmi MD
Articles: 56

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