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Diet Behavior Health Tips Healthy Living

Healthy Not Unhealthy Plant-Based Diets Reduce Mortality, So Get It Right!

1 year, 7 months ago

7982  0
Posted on Nov 16, 2022, 3 a.m.

Article courtesy of Dr. Joel Kahn, MD, who is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine, one of the world's top cardiologists, a best-selling author, lecturer, and a leading expert in plant-based nutrition and holistic care.

How many times have I heard patients tell me they are "plant-based" but the words cheese, chicken, egg yolks, faux chicken nuggets, faux pepperoni, and others make it into their history?

NO!  To gain the benefits, it must be a whole food plant-based diet. Prior data from a few years ago from the Harvard School of Public Health showed a dramatic difference favoring healthy plant-based diets versus "unhealthy" plant-based diets. Now new data in Spain confirms this striking distinction. So make it a "whole food plant-based WFPB" diet please and skip the junk. OK?


To investigate the associations of a healthful plant-based diet index (hPDI) and an unhealthful plant-based diet index (uPDI) with all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality in Spanish adults.

Patients and methods: 

Researchers analyzed data from 11,825 individuals 18 years of age or older, representative of the Spanish population, recruited between 2008 and 2010 and were followed up to 2020. Food consumption was collected at baseline using a validated dietary history, which served to calculate two plant-based diet indices based on 18 major food groups. For (1) hPDI only the consumption of healthy plant foods (whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, vegetable oils, and tea/coffee) received positive scores; whereas for (2) uPDI, only the consumption of less healthy plant foods (fruit juices, sugar-sweetened beverages, refined grains, potatoes, and sweets/desserts) received positive scores. 

Results: After a median follow-up of 10.9 and 9.8 years, 699 all-cause and 157 CVD deaths were ascertained, respectively.

Each 10-point increase in hPDI was associated with a 14% lower risk of all-cause death (HR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.74 to 0.99), and 37% lower risk of CVD death (HR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.46 to 0.85).

No significant associations were found for uPDI.

Conclusion: Higher adherence to an hPDI diet, but not to a uPDI, was associated with lower all-cause and CVD mortality. This suggests that the quality of the plant food consumed is paramount to achieving diet-related benefits in mortality. 

It is important to eliminate unhealthy plant-based choices, no matter how enticing or addictive, and start with booting fruit juices, sugar-sweetened beverages, refined grains, fried potatoes, and sweets/desserts.

About the author: At his core, Dr. Joel Kahn believes that plant-based nutrition is the most powerful source of preventative medicine on the planet. Having practiced traditional cardiology since 1983, it was only after his own commitment to a plant-based vegan diet that he truly began to delve into the realm of non-traditional diagnostic tools, prevention tactics, and nutrition-based recovery protocols. 

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.

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