what should I eat (and living with inconsistency)
Posted Friday, August 30, 2013 at 6:26 AM
Indeed there are many schools of thought on the ideal diet, even among plant-based recommendations. In terms of health, disease prevention, and evidenced-based research, we would recommend a low-fat, vegan diet. That would mean really reducing, and for some, eliminating the higher-fat plant foods like avocados and nuts. At least until some initial goals (such as blood labs or weight) are met. For most, a very small amount of nuts/seeds are okay, but the challenge is sticking to that small amount (don't sit down with a bag of nuts if you can't eat just a few). Starchy foods and grains are not deterred on our plan either, because research shows they can be part of an overall healthful plant-based diet. They don't contribute to disease, and more importantly, bring with them lots of helpful nutrients like fiber, protein, complex carbs, minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals.
Essentially, our recommendations are more in line with Ornish, Esselstyn(s), and McDougall. Like these physicians, Dr. Barnard is tackling an epidemic of disease and is very keen to stick to what the research shows to be the most effective.
It's not to say those other books aren't enlightening and inspiring, because I think they are! But if you want to try other vegan plans and see what works best for you, I totally encourage it. Nothing is more convincing than personal experience.
I hope this helps!
Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education