In this piece, renowned cardiologist Dr. Joel Kahn shares the benefits of a plant-based diet and explains how to present them to your own health care provider. If you're interested in learning more, check out his mindbodygreen course, Everyday Hacks for Long-Lasting Health: How to Eat, Move & Live for Longevity.
I've followed a plant-based diet since 1977, when the salad bar at my freshman dormitory at the University of Michigan was the only choice that looked edible. Today, I'm now an academic cardiologist as well as the owner of an award-winning plant-based restaurant in Ferndale, Michigan. That means I receive many questions about plant-based nutrition. One of the most common questions I get: "My doctor isn't supportive of a plant-based diet. What information can I share?”
Fortunately, the Kaiser-Permanente Medical Group, one of the nation's largest health plans, produced an excellent document, “Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets,” that's a great resource to share with your health care provider. It appeared in a peer-reviewed journal and includes many scientific references your provider should respect. The paper presents a balanced view of plant-based nutrition—including five main benefits of the diet and five concerns—and can help your doctor understand your health journey. Here's a summary: