Plant-based diets are in, but are they right for you? If you suffer from, or are at risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or cancer, or if you need to lose weight … the answer may be yes. Why? An article in Diabetic Living magazine (Spring 2014) entitled, “Should you go vegetarian?” by Hope Warsaw, RDN, CDE, sites a number of studies that have shown real success with weight-loss and a decrease in A1C and LDL (bad) cholesterol in vegans.
Sharon Palmer, RD, dietitian and author of The Plant-Powered Diet, is quoted as saying, “Study after study has tightly linked eating a plant-based diet with decreasing a number of chronic diseases — type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and certain cancers.” The article goes on with: “The common denominators are chronic inflammation and insulin resistance. Both problems, which are interrelated, appear to diminish with a plant-based eating plan.”
Bottom line: Everyone can benefit by including more vegetables, fruits, and plant proteins in their diets without drastically changing their diets. Giving more attention to a plant-based diet does not have to be an all or nothing proposition. You can still reap enormous benefits by consuming a mostly plant-based diet and cutting back on animal proteins, without entirely eliminating them. Mark Bittman’s latest book and companion cookbook VB6: Eat Vegan before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health for Good and The VB6 Cookbook: More than 350 Recipes for Healthy Vegan Meals All Day and Delicious Flexitarian Dinners at Night are good examples of how this can be done.
Following is a list of books that will give you more information about plant-based diets and cookbooks that can help you fit more veggies and plant-based proteins into your life. These cookbooks have terrific recipes, even if you are not vegan!
Some of the best plant-based books we’ve discovered include:
The Plant-Powered Diet, by Sharon Palmer, RD
Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, by Gene Stone
The Forks Over Knives Plan: How to Transition to the Life-Saving, Whole Foods, Plant-Based Diet, by Alona Pulda,, MD, Matthew Lederman, MD, and Marah Stets, MD
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition, by Julieanna Hicks
Some excellent vegan cookbooks we love:
Books by Isa Chandra Moskowtiz, especially her lastest Isa Does It! Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of The Week
Books by Robin Robertson, especially Quick-Fix Vegan: Healthy Home-style Meals in 30 Minutes or Less
The Happy Herbivore: Over 175 Delicious Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes, by Lindsay S. Nixon
The China Study Cookbook: Over 120 Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes, by LeAnne Campbell
Thrive Energy Cookbook: 150 Plant-Based Whole Food Recipes, by Brendan Brazier
Straight from the Earth: Irresistible Vegan Recipes for Everyone, by Myra Goodman