Plant-based Diets in Medicine – an initiative by Vegetarians of Washington
Today, the prevention and treatment of disease with a plant-based diet is based on the bedrock of extensive research and now is considered evidence-based medicine. Yet, it may be the least utilized tool in the physician’s toolbox. There are two main reasons for this. First is that although diet remains the number one risk factor for disease and disability in the United States, exceedingly little attention is given to nutrition in medical school and almost none is given to the prevention and treatment of disease with a plant-based diet.
Another reason for the lack of application of a plant-based diet by physicians is the lack of a comprehensive resource covering the wide range of a pathologies that can be prevented and treated in one place. While the amount of research is considerable, to our knowledge, there is no resource which gathers this research together in one place and includes clinical considerations such as enhancing patient compliance, integrating with standard treatment and lab work. It is this deficiency that this website seeks to overcome.
Both as a treatment or prophylaxis the plant-based diet has no side effects, adverse reactions and no contraindications. It can be used as a mono-therapy or as an adjunct to medication and surgery. It can also treat several co morbidities at once. Treating patients with a plant-based diet has the advantage of being an extremely low-cost method of treatment, thus saving patients and society as a whole an enormous amount of money which could be better used elsewhere.
While a plant-based diet is particularly effective as a preventive measure, it is often when disease strikes that patients are most open to the idea of making lifestyle changes, placing the physician in the perfect position to encourage a change of diet. This site will aid physicians in learning the benefits of a plant-based diet, and how to effectively prescribe a plant-based diet for their patients.
Vegetarians of Washington is dedicated to public service. Our mission is to help improve the health and well-being of people and the world we live in, both by educating the mainstream Americans to discover the advantages and pleasures of vegetarian food, and by providing support and service to the vegetarian community.
We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and the largest vegetarian society in America. We currently have four nationally published books. We produce the annual Seattle Vegfest attended by thousands, monthly catered dinners as well as classes on how and why to become a vegetarian and a monthly newsletter. Membership to Vegetarians of Washington is open to all whether one is an experienced vegetarian, beginner or just curious. Membership is not required to attend any of our events or participate in our activities.
In addition to the general public, Vegetarians of Washington works closely with diverse businesses and professionals in the community including doctors, educators, both the print and broadcast media, food retailers and manufacturers, a wide variety of church groups as well as other nonprofits.
Vegetarians of Washington takes a scientific approach to medicine. Evidence-based medicine is emphasized along with clinical experience. Vegetarians of Washington is advised by a number of physicians from various specialties. Several physicians also assist the organization with public speaking and health screenings at events such as Seattle Vegfest and with newsletter interviews. Vegetarians of Washington has also provided educational presentations to various patient groups.