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Plant-Based Diets in Health Issues

Introduction

Despite living in the age of gastronomic abundance, we do not always make the right dietary choices.

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This tendency is reflected in the ubiquitous nature of chronic disease. Harmful conditions that are at least partially related to nutrition are quite common nowadays.

This essay argues that people dealing with common health issues, such as diabetes and hypertension, can simply improve their health by keeping to a plant-based diet – a diet that is healthy, inexpensive, and contributes to the minimization of animal suffering.

Body

Proof that the Problem Exists

The epidemic nature of diabetes, hypertension, and poor nutrition is recognized by the U.S. health authorities.

In adult U.S. citizens, the prevalence of diabetes has increased drastically since 2004 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “National Diabetes Statistics” 5). In 2018, hypertension contributed to almost 500.000 deaths in the U.S., and over 30 million adults have untreated hypertension (National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion). Many chronic health issues are exacerbated due to poor nutrition – in the U.S., only 10% of adults eat enough vegetable food (CDC, “Poor Nutrition” 1).

Thus, chronic health issues and unhealthy nutrition remain prevalent.

Possible Solutions

The potential health improvement strategies include pharmaceutical treatment and plant-based diets.

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Regular medication intake improves general well-being in chronically ill patients. However, medications have side effects and do not eliminate the effects of poor nutrition.

A plant-based diet can be perceived as the best solution.

Selected Solution: Plant-Based Diet

Plan

Three simple steps are needed to implement the solution.

Firstly, one should divide the food they eat into two categories: recommended (vegetable food) and other products (processed foods, meat, dairy products). It can be done with the help of nutrition and diet apps and is needed to draft change. Then, to avoid too rapid changes, one should increase the consumption of the recommended food while cutting down the intake of other products. Finally, a person is to proceed with changing the diet to make sure that animal products are reduced to a minimum.

Due to the risks of stress, the solution is to be implemented gradually.

Why Plant-Based Diet Is the Best Solution

Plant-based diets lead to health improvement in those with chronic conditions and reduce the need for medications.

Due to their positive effects on BMI and the promotion of healthier eating patterns, plant-based diets are known to reduce the risks of complications in those with diabetes (McMacken and Shah 342). In hypertensive patients, plant-based diets lead to the normalization of blood pressure, thus reducing the drug burden (Najjar et al. 307).

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Plant-based diets’ positive effects on health are well-documented.

Dealing with Costs

The selected solution involves certain costs.

Keeping to a plant-based diet might increase the amount of time spent on food preparation since popular ready-to-cook foods are not recommended. To deal with this issue, it is possible to eat more fresh vegetables. Also, those following plant-based diets sometimes suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency (Hever 96). To prevent this from happening, it can be recommended to take vitamin supplements and make sure that a person consumes enough calories.

Thus, the costs of choosing plant-based diets can be easily overcome.

Refutation of Alternative Arguments

Some argue that plant-based diets are harmful and cause nutritional deficiencies.

Actually, there is no evidence that iron-deficiency anemia specifically affects vegetarians (Hever 97). The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recognizes plant-based diets as “nutritionally adequate” choices (Hever 94).

Given that a person’s caloric intake is adequate, plant-based diets do not promote deficiencies.

Conclusion

The health benefits of plant-based diets are abundant, including blood pressure normalization, the reduced need for drugs, and healthier BMIs. Based on evidence from research, diabetes and hypertension patients are highly recommended to adhere to them.

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Works Cited

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Statistics Report. Web.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Poor Nutrition. 2020, Web.

Hever, Julieanna. “Plant-Based Diets: A Physician’s Guide.” The Permanente Journal, vol. 20, no. 3, 2016, pp. 93-99.

McMacken, Michelle, and Sapana Shah. “A Plant-Based Diet for the Prevention and Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes.” Journal of Geriatric Cardiology, vol. 14, no. 5, 2017, pp. 342-354.

Najjar, Rami, et al. “A Defined, Plant-Based Diet Utilized in an Outpatient Cardiovascular Clinic Effectively Treats Hypercholesterolemia and Hypertension and Reduces Medications.” Clinical Cardiology, vol. 41, no. 3, 2018, pp. 307-313.

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. “Facts about Hypertension.” CDC, 2020, Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, March 14). Plant-Based Diets in Health Issues. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/plant-based-diets-in-health-issues/

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Plant-Based Diets in Health Issues." March 14, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/plant-based-diets-in-health-issues/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Plant-Based Diets in Health Issues'. 14 March.

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