Staffers at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Fresno, CA have recently taken on a 21-day plant-based eating challenge. The medical professionals are tasked with eating at least one plant-based meal per day and some are embracing it full-time. “If I’m trying to teach my patients how to eat, I need to be doing the same thing,” registered nurse Tammy Barigian said, adding “So, if you eat a high-saturated fat diet, you’re going to have heart disease sooner or later, so you need to focus on low-saturated fat and eating as many fruits and vegetables as possible.” The hospital is offering demonstrations, cooking classes, and support programs to help interested parties continue eating a plant-based diet in an effort to encourage them to be healthier at home and pass information down to their patients. “It’s really a choice and it’s a lifestyle,” dietitian Judy Meadows said about eschewing animal products. “It’s not really a diet that you’re going to end.” Washington DC-based vegan Barnard Medical Center—launched by doctor Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine—opened in 2015 to advocate a plant-based diet as a treatment and preventative measure for diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
Cancer, type 2 diabetes, stroke, infections, Alzheimer’s, and diseases of the kidneys, heart, respiratory tract, and liver all linked to red meat consumption.
A new cohort study published in the British Medical Journal, linked the consumption of both processed and unprocessed red meat to an increase in death rates from a total of nine different diseases. The study examined the dietary habits of more than 536,000 individuals between the ages of 50 and 71 and found that those who consumed the highest amount of meat over a 16-year period had a 26 percent higher rate of death from cancer, type 2 diabetes, stroke, infections, Alzheimer’s, and diseases of the kidneys, respiratory tract, and liver. “This is the largest study, so far, to show increased mortality risks from different causes associated with consuming both processed and unprocessed red meat,” the study authors write, “and it underlines the importance of heme iron, nitrates, and nitrites in assessing the pathways related to health risks associated with red meat intake.” A separate cohort study conducted by the Mayo Clinic last year also found similar results and recommended that physicians advise ailing patients to replace animal products with plant-based foods.
100 Chicago stores are the first to sample Starbucks’ new Mercato lunch program, which includes a certified vegan salad.
Starbucks launched a new “Mercato” lunch menu in 100 Chicago locations today. The menu is a step in diversifying options for patrons of varying dietary restrictions and preferences, and, according to a Starbucks representative, will focus on “meeting a variety of dietary lifestyles, including vegan, vegetarian, and high-protein.” Mercato items will feature Mediterranean-inspired sandwiches and salads, including a certified vegan Cauliflower Tabbouleh Salad made with cauliflower rice, cucumber, tomato, canola oil, lemon juice, parsley, scallion, extra virgin olive oil, mint, salt, lemon zest, pepper, and will be tossed with arugula. Starbucks made inroads with its vegan customers last year after its introduction of almond milk and the development of several plant milk-based veganizable signature drinks. The coffeehouse giant also recently introduced several vegan food options—including overnight grains soaked in coconut milk and a guacamole-like avocado spread—to all locations nationwide.