Health Benefits of a Whole food Plant-based Diet

Health Benefits of a Whole food Plant-based Diet

Enliven Foods co-founder Mark Adams began eating a plant-based diet in the 1970's, well before it was trendy. Since then the lifestyle has become more and more popular. And that's for good reason. More and more research is showing that consuming a diet high in whole plant foods can lead to a variety of health benefits, like a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

It's no surprise that heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States. But did you know your risk can be reduced by whole food plant-based eating? The Journal of the American College of Cardiology published a study that found that a whole food plant-based diet was associated with a lower risk of heart disease, compared to a diet that included meat and dairy products. The study followed a whopping 200,000+ participants for an average of 28 years and found that those who consumed a plant-based diet had a 34% lower risk of dying from heart disease (1). Those results are astounding!

Whole food plant-based eating also has been shown to help with blood sugar and diabetes. The Journal of Geriatric Cardiology published a study that found that a plant-based diet was effective in improving blood sugar control in individuals with type 2 diabetes. The study, which included 99 participants, found that a diet that emphasized whole plant foods resulted in a significant decrease in blood sugar levels and a reduction in the need for diabetes medication (2).

The risk of certain cancers can also be reduced with whole-food eating. Another study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that a plant-based diet was associated with a lower risk of breast cancer (3).

Eating a diet that emphasizes whole plant foods also has other benefits, such as helping with weight loss, aiding digestion and reducing inflammation. Studies have shown that people who consume a diet rich in whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts tend to be leaner and have a lower body mass index (BMI) (4).

Eating whole food plant-based isn't the same as eating vegan. Eating whole food is about eating food that is minimally processed. It's fruits, veggies, nuts, and legumes that haven't been processed. A vegan diet on the other hand is just cutting out animal products so it can still include sugar, salt, oil, and yes, Twinkies.

The whole food plant-based trend is on the rise for a reason, and it will only become more popular. You can reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers, all by making lifestyle changes and eating more whole, plant-based foods. Enliven Foods makes it easy to transition to whole food plant-based eating with products that are not only healthy but also delicious.


Ornish D, et al. J Am Coll Cardiol. 1998 Nov;32(5):1207-16.
Barnard ND, et al. J Geriatr Cardiol. 2013 Sep;10(5):377-81.
Huang RY, et al. JAMA Intern Med. 2016 Jul 1;176(7):902-10.
Wang Y, et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Mar;103(3):1029-1044.
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