Benefits of Plant-based Diet

A diet high in animal-based and highly processed foods makes people sick and overweight. But many of these sicknesses can be prevented, halted, and even reversed by eating a whole-food, plant-based diet.

Watch Rip Esselstyn's (author of Engine 2 Diet) TEDTalk on how the Plant Strong Diet improved the health of his fire house.

By the way, Rip Esselstyn is the son of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, who was trained as a surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic and at St. George's Hospital in London. Dr. Esselstyn has been associated with the Cleveland Clinic since 1968. He was studying about how a plant-based diet can reverse chronic diseases, such as heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, etc.

No kidding...we have cures for these common killers already.

A whole-food, plant-based diet has been shown to:

• Lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar
• Prevent and reverse heart disease
• Prevent and reverse obesity
• Lower risk of cancer and diabetes
• Slow the progression of certain types of cancer
• Improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
• Improve overall quality of life

Then, why agen’t we aware of this miracle diet?

Pharmaceutical companies are not advertising it. Doctors are not believing it, because they're trained to prescribe medications.

Anyway, watch "Forks Over Knives" documentary in Netflix, and you'll know who Dr. Esselstyn is and what the China Study discover.


Lower Oxidative Stress & Reduce Inflammation

Studies show that a diet rich in whole plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, see, tea, coffee, red wine and olive oil, decreases levels of oxidative stress and chronic inflammation, which are associated with the development of chronic diseases.

In the Adventist Health Study II, a vegetarian diet was linked to lower CRP levels, a marker of inflammation.

Promotes Healthy Gut/Immune System

Increasing evidence shows that a fiber-rich plant-based diet promotes healthy gut microbiota, and it is also linked to better immune support and digestive health.

EPIC study found lower rate of hospital admissions and risk of death from diverticular disease among vegetarians.

Protects the Brain

Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress lead to development of Alzheimer’s. Consuming a plant-based Mediterranean diet is linked to lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Protects the Environmental

All meat is NOT created equal. Lamb, beef, pork and cheese generate the most greenhouse gases. They are also high in saturated fats and have the worst environmental impacts.

Animal meats and dairy products require large amount of pesticides, chemical fertilizer, fuel, feed and water to cultivates. And, as a result, generates an enormous amount of greenhouse gases, toxic manure and other pollutants that contaminate our air and water.

Environmental Benefits of Plant-based Diet

FODMAP and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Fought what?!

FODMAPs is actually an acronym that stands for:

FODMAP Acronyms

What exactly are FODMAPs?

FODMAPs are small chain carbohydrates (sugars and fibers) that are commonly malabsorbed in the small intestine. Not all carbohydrates are considered FODMAPs.

The FODMAPs in the food are:

Fructose (fruits, honey, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), etc)

Lactose (dairy)
Fructans (wheat, garlic, onion, inulin etc)

Galactans (legumes such as beans, lentils, soybeans, etc)

Polyols (sweeteners containing isomalt, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, stone fruits such as avocado, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums, etc)

High FODMAP foods to avoid

How do FODMAPs affect people with IBS?

FODMAPs are very small carbohydrates, which makes them osmotic, meaning they can pull water into the intestinal tract. They are not digested or absorbed well, allowing bacteria in the intestinal tract to ferment these small sugars.

Not all of these bacteria are bad. Some of these bacteria, yeast and single cell organisms can help you digest your food, create vitamins and help keep your immune system healthy.

When these microbes ferment FODMAPs, the gas they produce fills up and stretches your intestine; this can contribute to bloating, abdominal pain, and cramping in individuals with a sensitive GI tract. The combination of gas and water in the intestine can alter the movement of the intestine and contribute to diarrhea or constipation.

FODMAPs are like fast food for your gut microbes.

FODMAP illustration

How does a low FODMAP diet help?

A low FODMAP diet may help reduce symptoms by limiting foods high in fructose, lactose, fructans, galactans and polyols.

This diet will also limit fiber as some high fiber foods are also high in FODMAPs.

The low FODMAP diet is often used in those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It could possibly be used in those with similar symptoms caused by other digestive disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease.

The low FODMAP diet is a 2-6 week elimination diet that involves removing high FODMAP foods from the diet to assess whether FODMAP rich foods are triggering your IBS symptoms.

The goal of the diet is to help you determine your personal dietary triggers.

After the low FODMAP elimination diet phase, you will re-introduce some FODMAPs, in a methodical manner, to assess your tolerance to various FODMAP containing foods.

Many people may find they can liberalize their FODMAP diet restrictions and only need to restrict some high FODMAP foods.

Research has shown that a low FODMAP diet can relieve some IBS symptoms, such as gassiness, bloating, abdominal cramps, constipation, diarrhea, etc. An estimated 75% of individuals with IBS may benefit from dietary restriction of FODMAPs.

Low FODMAP Grocery List


Review food lists, collect recipes and go grocery shopping first. Once you are ready, start and follow the diet for 6 weeks.

Read food labels. Avoid foods made with high FODMAP fruits/vegetables, HFCS, honey, inulin, wheat, soy, etc. However, a food could be low in FODMAPs if a high FODMAP food is listed at the end of the ingredient list.

Buy gluten free grains as they do not have wheat, barley or rye in them. However, you do not need to be on a strict gluten free diet as the focus is to limit FODMAPs, not gluten.

Limit serving sizes for low lactose dairy to small amounts and low FODMAP fruits/vegetables to a 1⁄2 cup per meal (1⁄2 cup=size of a tennis ball) if you have symptoms after eating these foods. The symptoms could be related to eating large amounts of FODMAPs all at once.

Include low FODMAP foods rich in fiber such as oatmeal if you develop constipation while on the diet. Drink plenty of water as well.

After the trial is over, add high FODMAP foods one at a time back in the diet in small amounts to identify foods that could be "triggers" to your symptoms. Limit those foods if so.


Gluten free waffle with walnuts, blueberries, maple syrup without HFCS

Eggs scrambled with spinach, bell peppers and cheddar cheese

Oatmeal topped with sliced banana, almonds and brown sugar

Fruit smoothie blended with lactose free vanilla yogurt and strawberries (1⁄2 cup)

Rice pasta with chicken, tomatoes, spinach topped with pesto sauce

Chicken salad mixed with chicken, lettuce, bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar salad dressing without HFCS

Turkey wrap with gluten free tortilla, sliced turkey, lettuce, tomato, slice of cheddar cheese slice, mayonnaise, mustard

Ham and Swiss cheese sandwich on gluten free bread, with mayonnaise, mustard

Quesadilla with corn or gluten free tortilla and cheddar cheese

Beef and vegetable stew (made with homemade broth, beef, allowed vegetables)