A special issue of the Journal of Geriatric Cardiology has highlighted the plant-based diet as key in fighting a number of serious health conditions.
It also outlines the difficulties in getting the approach implemented.
The issue – A plant-based diet and cardiovascular disease – claims the ‘inertia, habit and widespread marketing of unhealthy foods’ are more difficult to overcome than the science.
According to the journal’s introduction: “Reading the existing literature and evaluating the impact of plant-based nutrition, it clearly represents the single most important yet underutilized opportunity to reverse the pending obesity and diabetes induced epidemic of morbidity and mortality.
“Challenges with the science are, however, less daunting to overcome than inertia, culture, habit and widespread marketing of unhealthy foods.
“Our goal must be to get data out to the medical community and the public where it can actually change lives – creating healthier and longer ones.”
Those words are authored by Kim Allan Williams – current fellow and former president of the American College of Cardiology.
Dr. Williams, who has been vegan since 2003, wrote an article about his plant-based diet in Med Page Today in 2014, upon becoming the College’s president.
In the article, which caused some controversy, he wrote: “I often discuss the benefits of adopting a plant-based diet with patients who have high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, or coronary artery disease.
“I encourage these patients to go to the grocery store and sample different plant-based versions of many of the basic foods they eat.”
Following a plant-based diet had a positive impact on his own health, with his LDL cholesterol dropping from 170 to 90 within just six weeks of ditching animal products.
He added: “Wouldn’t it be a laudable goal of the American College of Cardiology to put ourselves out of business within a generation or two?
“We have come a long way in prevention of cardiovascular disease, but we still have a long way to go. Improving our lifestyles with improved diet and exercise will help us get there.”