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Why the Nation’s Largest Health Plan Wants Its Doctors to Recommend a Plant-Based Diet

If physicians know of a treatment that could prevent and reverse disease, then it seems like that treatment should be the first-line method of care prescribed to patients. Researchers at Kaiser Permanente, one of the largest managed care organizations in the country, found that there is, in fact, such a treatment. In their official materials, they now advise the 17,000+ physicians in their network to recommend the most powerful, yet least-used prescription to their patients: a healthy, plant-based diet and active lifestyle.

In the NutritionFacts.org video below, Dr. Michael Greger explores the patient education materials published by Kaiser Permanente. The publication provides tips, meal plan ideas, and a list of health benefits, which include:

· Reversal/prevention of heart disease
· Lower risk of cancer/diabetes
· Healthy weight
· Lower food costs

So many diet plans focus on eating less, but the whole food, plant-based diet thrives on abundance. “The future of health care will involve an evolution toward a paradigm where the prevention and treatment of disease is centered, not on a pill or a surgical procedure, but on another serving of fruits and vegetables.”
Video Sources:
P J Tuso, M H Ismail, B P Ha, C Bartolotto. Nutritional update for physicians: Plant-based diets. Perm J 2013 17(2):61 – 66.
Kaiser Permanente. The Plant-Based Diet a healthier way to eat. Kaiser Permanente 1-20.

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Julia Helms

Julia Helms is an editorial intern at Forks Over Knives. She is a student at New York University earning her degree in Global Public Health and Communications. After being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, she transferred from the Fashion Institute of Technology to NYU to pursue a career in public health, concentrating on plant-based nutrition as a proactive form of disease prevention.

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