Dr. Rangan Chatterjee’s prominent health podcast, Feel Better Live More, featured plant-based doctor Gemma Newman, who championed the benefits of a whole-food plant-based diet.
Dr. Newman, who is also the author of the best-selling book, The Plant Power Doctor, shared how she had greatly improved her health since prioritizing plants.
She dropped from a size 18 to a size eight and greatly improved her health on a plant-based diet, and now uses what she’s learned to help her patients.
‘I found myself exhausted’, she told Dr. Chatterjee. Her family had a history of heart disease and she decided she wanted to get more out of life.
Dr. Newman even tried a low-carb diet at the start. Then she moved towards eating more plant-based foods.
Upon research, ‘whole-foods plant-based diets were more beneficial longer-term’. ‘It made it easier to lose weight and still feel satiated’, she said. But changing your lifestyle for cosmetic purposes can lead to control and is not necessarily healthy, she continued.
When she tried out a whole-food plant-based diet she thought it would be too difficult, but upon more research ‘it seemed to make so much sense’. This was both in terms of nutrition and disease prevention.
‘A penny dropped in my head’, she said, and it didn’t take long to feel positive effects. Increasing foods high in fiber, micro-nutrients, and antioxidants fuelled her body ‘in the right way’, and left her feeling good, she said.
Power of plants
‘Eat as many plants as you can’
Dr. Chatterjee highlighted how the terms around plant-based diets and veganism can be confusing.
‘Plant-based means eat as many plants as you can’, Dr. Newman replied.
‘I would never tell my patients they’d have to go vegan because that’s actually a lifestyle, where you’d minimize harm to animals. So, when you’re looking at veganism as a way of eating, it’s almost defined by what you’re taking off your plate…
‘That’s quite different from emphasizing a whole foods plant-based approach’, she said.
She added: “Plant-based diets can mean a huge array of things.
“Someone can be eating almost any kind of dietary style and say that it was predominantly plant-based if they were eating mostly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, or legumes.
“Even, to be honest, ultra-processed foods. You get the junk food vegan movement where the ethics and the environmental concerns are paramount and so for them, having vegan donuts and biscuits and chips and crisps is a simple swap for them…that wouldn’t be optimum for our health.
“That’s what’s interesting about veganism, it draws a lot of different people it’s almost like it brings a lot of emotion into food choices which I think is a hard thing.”
Listen to the podcast here.