The science in 2020 supporting plant-based nutrition has been overwhelming. Sadly, the global community have not taken enough action to change our broken food system. It was a tough job, but here are my top evidence-based papers.

This week I cover studies on heart health, type 2 diabetes, fasting and a new systematic review on vegan diets and cardiovascular disease.

This week I cover plant-based diets for kidney disease, how nitrate-rich vegetables support muscle strength and function, the role of fruits and vegetables in preventing depression and how the corporate food system is fuelling deforestation.

This week I cover protein intake and kidney function, ultra-processed foods and cardiovascular disease, the impact of diet and lifestyle on dementia risk and another study on eggs.

This week’s studies show cholesterol levels DO matter but a low-carb diet is deterimental to blood lipids; healthy plant-based diets can reduce risk of stroke; mushrooms are good for cancer prevention and red meat and eggs are best left off the plate.

This week I cover the increased risk of diabetes from red meat and haem iron, fish consumption and CVD, the benefits of a vegetarian diet for NAFLD, plant protein for building muscle and the impact of the food system on GHG emissions.

This week I cover more evidence supporting the benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables and the harms associated with meat consumption. I also cover the impact of underlying health conditions and more wondrous benefits of flaxseeds.

I was diagnosed with Juvenile Inflammatory Arthritis (JIA) when I was 12 years old so I’ve had well over 20 years of learning to live with and manage this condition. I struggled through my teenage years and the early part of my university education trying endless NSAIDs with lots of courses of oral steroids thrown in as well. As a child my mum took me to see so many different people, desperate to try and find me help and relief. We tried physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, saw an osteopath, a homeopath and several different rheumatologists; some of these things made a little…

Exciting news in! My husband and I are going to be part of the BBC programme, ‘Trust me, I’m a Doctor’! This was early spring in 2017.

In that trial, all participants were allocated to one of three groups with consumption of different fats; butter, olive oil or coconut oil. Straws were drawn and I was allocated 50g of butter to be ingested every day for four weeks and my husband was given olive oil (50mls per day for 4 weeks). Although I had been told previously at every visit to the GP that I was pre-diabetic, it made no…

Highly successful Industry marketing has convinced many that coconut oil is a ‘health food’. This well conducted meta-analysis of 16 studies confirms this not to be true. Coconut oil consistently leads to an increase in blood LDL-cholesterol. It is unlikely, given current knowledge, that the corresponding rise in HDL-cholesterol will counteract the adverse effects of the raised LDL. Shockingly, the effects were worse than for palm oil.

This meta-analysis found that compared with nontropical oils, coconut oil significantly increased total cholesterol by 14.69 mg/dL, increased LDL-cholesterol by 10.47 mg/dL , and increased HDL-cholesterol by 4.00 mg/dL. Based on these changes…

Shireen Kassam

Consultant Haematologist and Lifestyle Medicine Physician. Founder and Director of Plant-based health professionals UK.

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