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Asian Plant-Based Nutrition Healthcare Conference: Decoding The Efficacy Of Plant-Based Whole Food Nutrition

Written by Shama Nimkar on Wed, 16 November 2022

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There is an increased health awareness among people across the world. More and more people are now seen making conscious health choices and realizing their responsibility towards the environment. Often, adopting a plant-based approach to food is the first step to this process.

With this in mind, Wellness We Care, an initiative by Mega We Care, recently conducted the Asian Plant-Based Nutrition Healthcare Conference (APBNHC), in association with The Plantrician Project, a not-for-profit charitable organization, which is a galvanizing force that educates, empowers and equips physicians and other healthcare practitioners and influencers across the globe, with the knowledge about the indisputable benefits of whole-food, plant-based nutrition.

Designed for anyone considering a plant-based lifestyle, the day-long Conference introduced by Dr Scott Stoll, the co-founder of the Plantrician Project, the International Plant Based Nutrition Healthcare Conference, the International Journal of Disease Reversal and Prevention, and the Regenerative Health Institute, saw the coming together of some of the biggest expert-names from across the world, to speak about the science that supports the efficacy of plant-based whole food nutrition.

The virtual event covered various topics spread across the day:

Helping Children Thrive on a Plant-Based Diet

Speaker: Dr Reshma Shah, MD, MPH

Conducted by Dr. Reshma Shah, certified Pediatrician, who serves as an instructor for Stanford's Healthy Living Program and oversees the nutrition curriculum for the Stanford University Pediatric Integrative Medicine Fellowship, this session delved deep into the intricacies of raising your child on a plant-based diet and its benefits.

Dr Shah urged parents to do their research in understanding how to make informed decisions about switching to a plant-based diet. Through insightful case studies, she helped them realize how plant-based nutrition is not just about giving up meat and dairy, but is also about taking into consideration several other related factors, such as the positive impact of veganism on the environment, the art of joyful eating, empathy towards animals, and many more.

For more, read: Helping Children Thrive on a Plant-Based Diet

A Unifying Theory of Lifestyle Medicine

Speaker: Dr Dean Ornish, MD

Led by Dr. Dean Ornish, Founder and President of the non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute and Clinical Professor of Medicine at University of California San Francisco, this session emphasized on the transformative power of plant-based nutrition, and how it could reverse a wide variety of chronic diseases such as blood pressure, coronary heart disease, type-2 diabetes, high cholesterol, various auto-immune diseases, obesity, etc.

Often referred to as the Father of Lifestyle Medicine, and the creator of the popular Ornish Diet, a low-fat, lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet that focuses on plant-based ingredients like fruits, veggies, whole grains, and legumes, Dr Ornish also spoke about how plant-based nutrition could play a huge role in fighting Alzheimers, a rather traumatizing disease that takes a toll on the patient and his/her near and dear ones.

For more, read: How Plant-based Diets Can Reverse Serious Illnesses

Stopping the Tsunami of Alzheimer's

Speakers: Dr. Ayesha Sherzai, MD, MAS and Dr. Dean Sherzai, MD, PHD, MPH, MAS

Covered by the husband-wife duo of neurologists Dr. Ayesha Sherzai and Dr. Dean Sherzai, this session discussed in detail the profound effect of lifestyle on brain health and the prevention of dementia.

The neurologist-duo delved deep into brain health and how adopting a plant-based nutritional approach can help tackle the ill-effects of Alzheimer's, by improving memory and staying sharp even in old age.

For more, read: Battling Alzheimer's With Plant-based Foods

Overcoming Insulin Resistance: The Keys to Restoring Insulin Sensitivity

Speaker: Dr Cyrus Khambatta, PhD

It is well known how insulin resistance is one of the most commonly suffered chronic diseases in the world today. Conducted by Dr. Cyrus Khahmbatta, PhD, who has completed his Master's in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, this session dealt with exactly that, about diabetes and specifically on how one can master diabetes using not only a plant-based lifestyle, but a low fat plant-based whole food lifestyle.

Dr Khambatta spoke about how a low fat plant-based whole food lifestyle can be one of the most powerful interventions that can dramatically reduce and eliminate insulin resistance, which is the underlying cause of pre-diabetes and type two diabetes.

Like the biological mechanism of insulin resistance, Dr Khambatta also touched upon the emerging concept of double diabetes.

For more, read: How Plant-based Diets Can Help Fight Chronic Diseases

Plant-based Diets, the Gut Microbiome & Colorectal Cancer: What You Need to Know

Speaker: Dr Alan Desmond, MD

In this session, leading gastroenterologist, Dr. Alan Desmond discussed colorectal cancer and elaborated on how it is now the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States.

Dr Desmond spoke about the role of food and diet and lifestyle in causing colorectal cancer, and threw light on how following a plant-based approach to eating could significantly reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

While talking about the right foods to eat, Dr Desmond talked about the importance of Planetary Health Plate, put forward by the EAT-Lancet Commission back in 2019, which is a healthy whole food, plant-based diet, where half the food comes from fruits and vegetables, the remainder of the foods come from whole grains, and plant-based sources of protein and plant-derived nutrients where meat and dairy are consumed in very smaller amounts and regarded as optional.

Overall, he elaborated how the food we eat plays a crucial role in determining the makeup of our gut microbiome and stressed on the importance of eating right to help the gut stay healthy and happy, and in turn reduce the chances of colorectal cancer in the long run.

For more, read: Plant-based Diets, The Gut Microbiome & Colorectal Cancer: What You Need To Know

Plant-Based Nutrition and the Human Immune System

Speaker: Dr Sant Chaiyodsilp MD (FCTS, FRCST, FRCFMT)
Eminent cardiologist-turned-family physician, Dr Sant Chaiyodsilp MD (FCTS, FRCST, FRCFMT), who is the Senior Consultant and Specialist at Check-up Center, Phyathai 2 Hospital, and Chief Wellness Coach at Mega Wellness We Care, spoke about how a plant-based diet is said to boost your immunity as a result of high-vitamin intake.
In keeping with this, Dr Sant also highlighted several studies to show how a plant-based diet can also play a crucial role in reducing Covid, by strengthening the immune system.
For more, read: Plant-Based Nutrition and the Human Immune System

Cardiovascular Risk, Mortality, the Microbiome, and Nutrition

Speaker: Dr Kim Alan Williams, MD, FACC, FASNC, FAHA

Led by eminent cardiologist Dr. Kim Williams, who now serves as the Chief of the Division of Cardiology and is the James B. Herrick Endowed Professor of Medicine and Cardiology at Rush University Medical Center, this discussion reviewed the relationship between cardiovascular health and the microbiome.

Drawing focus on the increasing mortality rate due to heart diseases, the session dived deep into finding out about the positive effects of plant-based nutrition in treating obesity, diabetes and hypertension, thus giving way to better life expectancy and quality of life.

For more, read: Cardiovascular Risk, Mortality, the Microbiome, and Nutrition

Panel Discussion / Q&A

Speakers: Dr Scott Stoll, Dr Cyrus Khambatta, Dr. Sant, Dr. Kim Williams, Dr. Alan Desmond

The day-long virtual event was summed up by a final panel discussion where the panelists discussed how globally, poor diet and nutrition are the leading cause of mortality.

Experts spoke on how a high intake of calories, saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars, processed food but low intake of fruits and vegetables, contributing to the leading causes of death and increasing the risk of numerous nutrition- and obesity-related diseases including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

The insightful panel discussion gave everyone enough perspective and knowledge on why adopting a plant-based approach can be the first step in the path towards good health. It would therefore be safe to conclude that the number of people expected to choose the path of plant-based foods is only bound to rise in the future.

The live recording of the programme is now Available to watch on demand here!

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Shama Nimkar

Shama Nimkar is a Lifestyle Journalist, Content Writer and a Publishing House Copy editor, and has a degree in Arts & Lifestyle Journalism from the University of the Arts London. With several articles published across renowned platforms in India and in the UK, Shama is now based out of Canada, and is pursuing higher studies in Digital Marketing. 

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