A plant-based diet is heart healthy, right? Not according to a recent study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health.
People who ate a healthy plant-based diet saw the expected benefits, e.g., a decrease in the risk of heart disease. On the other hand, those who interpreted a plant-based diet to mean eating less healthy versions of plant-based foods—including potatoes, refined grains, and sugary fruit drinks, saw opposite results. Not all plant-based foods are created equal, but given the lack of specific educational information surrounding plant-based diets, it’s easy for consumers to make the assumption that they are. Many of the differences lie in the ingredients and preparation methods used, both of which play a large role in determining the actual health benefits of plant-based foods.
While this may be surprising to some, it’s not surprising to us. Consumers are trying to eat healthier foods, but if left to their own devices, they may actually be doing more harm than good. In our experience, the key to preventing these mistakes and misconceptions is consumer education. No one knows more about eating a healthy diet than health professionals, and we know for a fact that consumers trust these health professionals more than anyone else.
Consumers are clearly trying to alter their eating habits for the better, but their success all comes down to proper education from the right sources.