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Plant Forward in the New Year


Plant based diets associated with lower risk of obesity

Plant based, plant forward, vegan, vegetable centered – whatever you call it, diets that bring vegetables to the center of the plate have been labeled as some of the hottest food trends for 2018.  Finally, a trend that may help cut the risk of obesity, which has been on a steady rise. 

New research presented at the 2017 European Congress on Obesity in Porto, Portugal found that people who ate a high pro-vegetarian diet slashed obesity risk by almost half when compared to the least pro-vegetarians. 

The study, conducted by the University of Navarra, examined the association between varying degrees of plant based diets with incidences of obesity in over 16,000 non obese people over 10 years.  Participants were responsible for self-reporting food records while researchers translated them using a pro-vegetarian diet index and placed them on a pro-vegetarian scale from 1-5.  Over time, 584 people became obese.  Those who were most vegetarian (group 5) were 43% less likely to become obese, while the least vegetarian (group 1) only reduced their risk by 6%.

Now pro vegetarian does not mean that you need to ditch animal protein all together.  It could mean that you start slowly with one bean based dish each week.  If you’re feeding a family- Mexican dishes are often a crowd pleaser and an easy way to disguise legumes in a palatable way.  You may like our Chipotle Cheddar White Bean Nachos.  You could also just choose a meal occasion like lunch, since it’s often eaten on the go or at the office, to try experimenting with a plant forward meal.  It’s easier to swap your sandwich for a salad or veggie burger when you’re eating on your own than when you may need to share your meal with multiple people!  Anyway you serve it up, veggies are a good way to protect yourself against cardiovascular disease, diabetes and now we have some hard evidence to show how good they are for your waistline- although we probably could have guessed that!

Published January 1, 2018

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