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Debunking ‘Plant-Based’ Diet Claims With Facts Is Key

Going on a rant about fake news probably isn’t the most productive way to start this post, yet here we are. This one warrants a rant though. Let me just give you the headline and then we can break it down from there. From the ‘Wellness’ section of the Washington Post:

“A plant-based diet is the best way to avoid heart disease, according to anew report.”

The best way?! Best?! Let’s dive in.

That Is Not The Best Way

A plant-based diet is not the best way to avoid heart disease.

The headline is so frustratingly misleading. The article itself says something completely different. The article cites a new report published in CardiovascularResearch. What does the report say? It says that the best way to avoid heart disease is to eat whole and plant-based foods. How does it define whole foods? The article itself says to think of beans, nuts, fish, eggs, poultry and dairy in their simplest forms–those are whole foods.

So if the report says that that the best way to avoid heart disease is to eat whole and plant-based foods, and meat products can be whole foods as long as they are not consumed in a highly processed form, then isn’t the report just saying to eat unprocessed meat along with fruits and vegetables to avoid heart disease?

Am I going crazy here? (maybe)

One of the reasons a headline like this is so problematic is because many people won’t actually read the article. The headline is all we have time for in our busy, busy lives. So what happens? Someone reads this headline and takes from it exactly what you would expect them to: meat is bad and should be avoided if I care about heart health.

That same person is then bombarded with marketing from the Oatlys, Impossible Foods, and Beyond Meats of the world.

“It’s like milk, but made for humans.” – Oatly
“We are meat.” -Impossible
“Eat what you love.” – Beyond Meat

The result? That person goes through an inner dialogue that goes something like this: “Ohhh, those taglines though! So you’re telling me I can eat a plant-based diet (best way to avoid heart disease, duh) and still enjoy all my favorite foods? Impossible burgers, oat milk lattes, Beyond Meat chalupas at Taco Bell?! All 100% plant-based. I am so healthy.”

But in reality, they are eating highly processed concoctions made of seed oils, herbicide-laden GMO crops, inflammatory grains, and a bunch of other garbage I have zero interest in trying to spell out.

Aside from the misleading headline, the article goes into the keto diet a bit and even cites a 2020 review study that showed significant improvements to several cardiovascular biomarkers in people following a keto diet, but the author quickly warns that keto may also raise your LDL cholesterol, so be very careful and make sure to only attempt keto “in full discussion with your clinical team.”

Jeez.

That keto diet is so risky… So after reading the entire article, takeaways are: 1)Don’t eat processed foods. 2) Keto seems pretty promising. 3) Whole foods include meat and dairy products, as long as they aren’t highly processed. 4) A plant-based diet IS NOT the best way to avoid heart disease, according to a Washington Post article (see what I did there).

Tonic Shots

  • Plant-based or animal-based, we can all agree that we should be taking care of our gut health. Check out this probiotic and use code DAILYSB3 for 25% off!
  • So you enjoy milk in your coffee but you don’t handle dairy well. Just don’t use Oatly–try this brand instead. No seed oils here.
  • They say the mind is pretty powerful. Powerful enough to help you heal? Deep dive with this podcast.
  • Who doesn’t love a good hot dog? Summer is still here, so throw these regenerative grass-fed hot dogs on the grill and enjoy.

What do you think?

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