2013 is the Year of Plant-Based! US News ranked the 11 best plant-based diets, which includes vegan, vegetarian, macrobiotic, raw, and more. I was interviewed by Angela Haupt on Tuesday, January 8th, 2013 about what it means to eat a whole food, plant-based diet. Here is the recording of our US News Google Hangout interview about Best Diets 2013:

Notes on the why’s and how’s of Whole Food, Plant-Based Diets:

WFPB Google Hangout with US News

Benefits:

Reduced risk for multiple cancers (colorectal, breast, prostate, stomach)

Reduced risk for cardiovascular disease

Reversal of atherosclerosis

Reduction in blood pressure

Improved blood glucose control

Reversal of type 2 DM

Decreased body fat, weight

Improved athletic performance and recovery

Increased energy

Vast minimization on global degradation: less CO2, deforestation, desertification, improved air and water quality

More food availability

Minimizing cruelty to animals

 

Sample day:

Breakfasts

Banana blueberry pancakes with pure maple syrup

Oatmeal with berries and walnuts

Rice pudding with raisins made with almond, coconut, or soy milk

Green smoothie-Spicy Tropical Green Smoothie or Chocolate Chip Mint Smoothie

 

Lunches

Bean, rice, and veggie burrito with guacamole and pico de gallo

Noritos!

Pad Thai with Thai Corn Chowder

Vegetarian and avocado sushi rolls with sunumono and miso soup

 

Dinners

BBQ Tofu Wings with celery sticks dipped in veg ranch dressing

Hearty Lentil Chili with Whole Grain Corn Muffins

Coconut curry or tofu stirfry with brown rice or quinoa

Falafel with hummus, pita, and cucumber/tomato salad

 

Protein:

We only need about 10% kcal from protein

All amino acids available in plants

Plant-based superstars-beans,  lentils, peas, nuts, soy products, quinoa, leafy greens

Protein doesn’t equal flesh, it’s a macronutrient, available in all foods

 

Bones:

Calcium intake doesn’t equal optimal bone health

Absorption matters

Bone health is multifactorial- exercise is #1, vites D, K, phosphorus, magnesium, protein matter too

Plant-based calcium all-stars- almonds, book choy, broccoli, greens, tofu, plant milks, fortified juice

Avoid dairy because: hormones, steroids, antibiotics, saturated fatty acids, cholesterol; links to acne, type 1 DM, iron-deficiency anemia

 

Supps:

Only B12

Unless deficient in something else (vit D global epidemic of deficiency)

 

Challenges:

Social…explaining to family, friends, loved ones; dealing with school, sports, and party situations

Accessibility sometimes, though improving dramatically and rapidly

 

Getting started:

Thinking from the positive-“what do I get to try” instead of “what do I have to give up”

Consider it a fun challenge

Explore and experiment…bazillions of cookbooks, websites, blogs now accessible for new recipes; farmer’s markets and increasingly plant-friendly options at markets and restaurants