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Plant Based Nutrition

Plant based diets are becoming popular in the media. What makes this way of eating good for you, and can you really get all of your necessary nutrients from plants? The providers at Trade Winds Family Medicine can help answer your questions and explain how this way of eating could benefit you and your specific health conditions, as well as how it’s possible to get all the nutrients you need in a balanced plant based diet! To schedule an appointment, call the office at (808) 263-7383.

Plant Based Nutrition Question & Answer

Plant-based nutrition is a component of Lifestyle Medicine. Lifestyle Medicine encompasses a whole food plant-based diet, physical activity, stress management, healthy relationships, quality sleep, and avoiding risky substances. Visit lifestylemedicine.org to learn more or search “American College of Lifestyle Medicine”. Dr. Bradham is one of our Family Medicine physicians at Trade Winds, and she has completed formal training with the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.  She is trained to help you achieve a lifestyle path that will promote better health!

A whole food plant based diet focuses on whole foods rather than those that have had fiber removed or fat and sugar added (i.e. processed). It is made up of a majority of plant foods and contains little to no animal products like meats, fish, eggs, cheese, or other dairy products. There are many benefits to a plant based diet, even for those who do not eliminate animal products entirely, but instead to adopt a “plant forward” way of eating. A whole food plant based diet is not simply veganized alternatives to common meals, but instead, a well rounded diet of whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.

This type of nutrition is very beneficial for preventing and even reversing many chronic diseases. It is especially effective in managing type 2 diabetes, hypertension (or high blood pressure), high cholesterol, and heart disease. Whole food plant based diets have very limited saturated fat and decreased total fat which helps improve insulin resistance (the cause of type 2 diabetes). They are high in fiber which helps reduce cholesterol as well. Many people lose weight on a whole food plant based diet which helps their health in other ways. Many people have studied this way of eating and the positive effects of common health problems and longevity. There is also a lot of new research on the benefits of plant based diets on rheumatological conditions and other diseases.

In short, yes! It important to eat a variety of different plant foods to get all necessary nutrients, but it’s easier than most people think. Whole grains are a great source of carbohydrates and fiber, while legumes are packed with protein as well as more fiber. Two examples of fat sources include nuts and avocados. Fruits and vegetables each contain many micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). The providers at Trade Winds Family Medicine can help you make sure you are getting what you need.

At Trade Winds Family Medicine, we can help explain what a healthy plant based diet looks like and how it might benefit you and your unique situation. We can provide education materials and reference resources that may interest you. We understand our patients eat a variety of types of diets and while we recognize plant based nutrition as especially beneficial, we can help explore weight loss and improvement in health goals no matter what your preference. If you are interested in using nutrition to improve your health and well-being, call us at (808) 263-7383 to make an appointment with one of the Trade Winds Family Medicine providers.