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.

I am a 59-year-old man with a lovely wife and 3 grown up children living in West Norfolk, UK, 7 miles from the coast. I feel blessed. Having got out off the corporate rat race some years ago, I now run a small handyman business primarily looking after the elderly and vulnerable.

Brought up from humble beginnings, I have been taught to finish whatever food was put in front of me. It was not just that it was human fuel and a necessary commodity to function every day, but whenever the opportunity arose, I would have second helpings of school…

Plant-based health professionals UK urge the European Commission to promote healthy, sustainable plant-based diets.

Plant Based Health Professionals UK, an organisation of over 800 health professionals, are welcoming the Commission’s aim to review the agricultural promotion policy “with a view to enhancing its contribution to sustainable production and consumption, and in line with the shift to a more plant-based diet, with less red and processed meat and more fruit and vegetables” [1]. We are therefore urging the Commission to ensure a positive outcome of this review improving the public health of European citizens by ending the promotion of meat and dairy, and investing in the promotion of healthy sustainable plant-based diets.

Promoting animal-based diets…

It is exactly 2 years since I started writing my weekly updates. This week I bring you an update on the impact of nutrition on COVID-19 as I prepare for my talk at Global VegFest on 18th September. Hope to see you there!

On March 14th, just prior to the first lockdown in the UK, I wrote an article summarising the dietary and lifestyle factors that are important in maintaining a healthy immune system. I highlighted the role of certain nutrients, including flavonoids, vitamin C, selenium and zinc. I discussed the importance of adequate vitamin D intake and maintaining a healthy gut microbiome. I concluded that a diet focussed on whole plant foods and minimising animal-derived and processed foods is associated with better health and a more robust immune system.

At the start of the pandemic a number of papers and review articles

This week, once again, I cover reviews and studies on cardiovascular disease. This is an area of health where there is absolutely no doubt that a plant-predominant diet is the optimal choice. The evidence just keeps accumulating.

This week I focus in on cardiovascular disease with papers that cover the impact of healthy lifestyle habits, benefits of eating nuts and polyphenol-rich foods. I also include a reminder of the urgent need to address climate health.

Plant-Based Health Professionals UK calls upon the Government of all four nations to promote and provide access to fortified plant-milks for the sake of our health and that of the planet.

On World Plant Milk Day, August 22nd 2021, Plant-Based Health Professionals UK calls for the UK Government to add fortified plant milks, alongside cow’s milk within the Healthy Start Scheme (England/Wales/Ireland), Best Start Foods (Scotland) and School Holiday Food Parcels. Only allowing the purchase of cow’s milk is a discriminatory policy that excludes children with lactose malabsorption or intolerance, a natural state that is most prevalent amongst people of colour and present in 70% of the World’s population. Children who are lactose intolerant but continue to consume dairy for its purported health benefits, may experience abdominal pain, diarrhoea and fatigue…

This week I cover the risk of cardiovascular disease in South Asians, how lignans reduce the risk of heart disease, the impact of healthy habits on the risk of lupus, plant-based diets and risk of death and the impact of diet on COVID-19.

This week I cover important studies on diet and cardiovascular disease, a review of ketogenic diets, B12 supplementation in vegans and the latest IPCC report on climate change.

This week I cover foods that promote glucose regulation, dietary factors and the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, flavonoids and brain health and a study of the oral microbiome of our ancient ancestors.

Shireen Kassam

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

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