Six Applications of Plant Based Diets for Health Promotion

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



American journal of lifestyle medicine








chronic disease; nutrition; physicians; plant based


The field of medicine, despite its prominent influence in society, has invested little to promote healthy lifestyle choices. The consequence of this is reflected in our ever-rising chronic disease statistics, most notably obesity and diabetes rates. This is especially regrettable considering overwhelming evidence confirms most non-communicable disease is preventable by modifying our diets. In light of this critical knowledge that optimizing our nutrition could save innumerable lives, one would naturally assume physicians would be readily practicing its promotion with their patients. Yet, that is far from true. By no fault of their own. Medical schools, entrusted with the responsibility of educating our future healthcare leaders, have managed to largely bypass the topic of arguably the most powerful healthcare intervention known to mankind. In fact, on average, medical schools offer an anemic number of hours of nutrition education over 4 years. What little is offered is focused on biochemistry and nutrient deficiencies, none of which prepares a physician in training for meaningful application in clinical care. This lapse in nutrition education continues throughout post-graduate training; in a recent survey of more than 600 cardiologists, 90% reported they had not received needed nutrition education during training. Although we agree that not all physicians must be experts in nutrition, in the very least all should have knowledge of rudimentary and essential facts. We offer this commentary on six vital clinical topics, to increase awareness amongst physicians as to the importance of diet and its role in human health.