Plant Based Diet Doesn't Have To Mean Vegan
Does Plant Based always have to mean Vegan?
We would argue that no, it doesn’t. There are some definitions you will find that do equate a Plant Based Diet with consuming no animal products, and they usually come from a platform that is already a strong advocate for veganism. However, many definitions of the term Plant Based Diet state that it is a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains. Here at Five Stones Healing Arts and Wellness Center, that is the definition we follow. There is so much research out there proving that the more plant food you eat, the better your health will be, including:
· Increased fiber intake reduces your risk for colon cancer
· Diverse plant foods increase biodiversity in the gut
· Fiber and plant-based foods reduce cardiovascular risk
· Diets higher in plants lead to healthier weight
In Functional Medicine, we work to uncover the root cause of illness. This rarely, if ever, means that a patient is simply given a prescription and sent on their way. Instead we address their whole body and lifestyle. Good nutrition is a key component in a healthy lifestyle. Because every person is different, the only dietary philosophy we adhere to for everyone is Plant Based.
Some of our patients would not do well on a vegan diet, as perhaps grains and beans cause inflammation which is fueling their condition or symptoms. Some of our patients do very well on vegetarian or vegan diets, reaching a healthier weight and reducing symptoms such as high blood pressure and high blood sugar.
Whether you are offered an Auto-Immune Paleo diet, a Mediterranean Diet, or a Vegetarian Diet, the one focus we give to all our patients is to make sure that at least half your plate is made up of plants.
There is a common complaint we hear from those who are switching from a more Standard American Diet (or SAD) to a Plant Based Diet, and that is increased gas. This is a sign that the bacteria in your gut is shifting, that you are cultivating more diverse
bacteria that digests fiber and limiting some bacteria or yeast that feed on sugar and processed carbohydrates. To limit these symptoms, which usually last a few weeks at most, we support our patients with probiotics and digestive aids.
If you want to start your journey towards a Plant Based Diet and need support, reach out to us and book an appointment with our Functional Nutritionist. Along with the diets mentioned above, we also work with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, Low FODMAP Diet, and Low Histamine Diet.