Junk Plant-based Diets and What PTs Need to Know | Modern Manual Therapy Blog - Manual Therapy, Videos, Neurodynamics, Podcasts, Research Reviews

Junk Plant-based Diets and What PTs Need to Know

Junk Plant-based Diets and What PTs Need to Know - themanualtherapist.com

Junk Plant-based Diets and What PTs Need to Know

By Dr. Sean M. Wells, DPT, PT, OCS, CNPT, ATC/L, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, Cert-DN

Over the last several years we have seen the literature explode in regards to the health benefits of eating a predominantly plant-based diet. From lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, and even cancers, it would seem that plant-based diets can really make a significant impact in our physical therapy patients. Unfortunately, big agriculture and corporations have seen this growth as a potential new market for them to gain more money. As such, many major food producers are now producing many of the common unhealthy foods in their own plant-based type variety.

For example, it has been long known that sausage and hamburger meat can promote atherosclerosis and possibly even gastrointestinal cancers. Much of this has to do with the fact that they are loaded in saturated fats, contain minimal fiber and other phytonutrients, and may contain carcinogens. Despite this, food producers have been working heavily in the lab to produce burgers and sausages that smell, taste, and even bleed like real food. This has resulted in most likely similar unhealthy outcomes such as elevations of LDL, inflammation, and a promotion of weight gain with a consumption of these ultra processed plant-based foods. For instance, in a 2019 cohort study with a n=105,159 adults over a 5-year period, researchers observed that a 10% increase in the consumption of ultra-processed foods was associated with a higher risk of heart disease and cerebral vascular accidents (CVA). https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31142457/

So ultimately what should physical therapists do? We want to make sure patients are eating predominantly plant-based diets, however, many of them aren't quite ready to transition completely off of meat due to not knowing other sources of protein. This is where educating patients on the benefits of other sources of protein that are not common in our Western diet. One major source of protein include legumes: Beans are way underutilized in America, they are most likely canned and full of sweeteners. They are so many varieties of beans including kidney, white, black, and the list goes on! Lentils and edamame are another great source of protein that offer some variety and different phytochemicals. For some, tofu and tempeh may be a bit strange or foreign. However, when incorporated with soy sauce or into Asian dishes, tofu can be very delicious and is usually packed with protein, iron, and calcium. Lastly, it should be pointed out that many patients consume highly refined grain products. Whole grain products like whole wheat, pasta, brown rice, faro, and quinoa are usually packed with complex carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. Whole grains can offer an additional source of protein and nutrients that refined products cannot.

In the end, doctors of physical therapy (DPTs) need to be aware that junk vegetarian and plant-based diets do exist. Our major job should be to focus on getting patients off of the processed junk and onto whole foods, like legumes, whole vegetables, and whole grains.

Here's a nice article summarizing some good dietary points for PTs to share with patients:

If you like what you see here then know there is more in our 3 board-approved continuing education courses on Nutrition specific for Physical Therapists. Enroll today in our new bundled course offering and save 20%, a value of $60!

Want to learn in person? Attend a #manualtherapyparty! Check out our course calendar below!

Learn more online - new online discussion group included!

Want an approach that enhances your existing evaluation and treatment? No commercial model gives you THE answer. You need an approach that blends the modern with the old school. 
  • NEW - Online Discussion Group
  • Live cases
  • webinars
  • lecture
  • Live Q&A
  • over 600 videos - hundreds of techniques and more! 
  • Check out MMT Insiders
Keeping it Eclectic...

Post a Comment

Post a Comment