Adhering to a healthy, plant-based diet can prevent and treat chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, renal disease, stroke, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia, researchers explained in a poster session at the 2022 American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) National Conference held June 21 to June 26, 2022, in Orlando, Florida.
The study authors described a plant-based diet as an evidence-based method of eating that treats and prevents lifestyle diseases. Plant-based diets consists of antioxidants, vitamins, phytochemicals, flavonoids, phenolic compounds, carotenoids, micronutrients, and omega-3 fatty acids that can help fight and prevent diseases, they noted.
With nurse practitioners (NPs) at the forefront of primary care, the study authors highlighted ways in which NPs can implement plant-based diets in patient care:
- Educate patients on ways to increase healthy plant foods by 3 servings daily, decrease sugary drink intake, and decrease animal products by 2 servings daily
- Make it easy for patients by sharing plant-based recipe websites (eg, lighter.world, straightupfood.com, www.forksoverknives.com)
- Write prescriptions: “Substitute beans for meat twice a week” or “Eat 3 services of vegetables daily”
- Reassure patients that the NP will help them to make the necessary dietary changes
Implementing a plant-based diet that includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds patients can reduce the incidence of eczema and other allergic diseases and decrease inflammation, which in turn improves glycemic control and insulin resistance, supports disease-preventing genes, and suppresses oncogenes that promote some cancers, the authors concluded.
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Chandler VL, Hatler KJ. Plant-based food choice: why does it matter? Poster presented at: AANP 2022; June 21-26, 2022; Orlando, Fl.