A whole-food, plant-based nutrition program: Evaluation of cardiovascular outcomes and exploration of food choices determinants.
OBJECTIVESAn ideal diet to prevent cardiovascular diseases contains an unlimited intake of various plant foods and a reduced intake of animal and highly processed foods. Researchers have reported that nutrition education programs that prioritize whole-plant foods effectively contribute to the prevention of unhealthy cardiovascular outcomes. We examined whether a 12-wk nutrition education program in adults from Montreal (Quebec, Canada) with at least one risk factor of cardiovascular disease was effective in modifying their eating patterns toward including more whole-plant foods. We further evaluated the effects of this program on participants' cardiovascular outcomes and explored determinants influencing food choices toward whole-food, plant-based diets.
METHODSA sequential, explanatory, mixed-methods, research design was used. A quantitative step (i.e., single-arm, quasi-experimental trial) preceded participant recruitment for a qualitative phase (i.e., phenomenological study; semistructured interview; thematic analysis). The examined outcomes were changes in cardiovascular risk factors (paired t tests) and determinants of food choice (thematic analysis).
RESULTSWeight (-10.5 lbs; 95% confidence interval [CI]: -9.0 to -12.0), waist circumference (-7.4 cm; 95% CI: -6.5 to -8.4), total cholesterol (-0.87 mmol/L; 95% CI: -0.57 to -1.17), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (-29.7% or -0.84 mmol/L; 95% CI: -0.55 to -1.13) all improved significantly (P ˂ 0.001). Encouraging ad libitum intake of various whole-food plant-based items appealed more to participants than traditional strategies. Altruistic and societal motives, in addition to health, were identified as key determinants of an increased adoption of whole-food plant-based diets.
CONCLUSIONSThe whole-food, plant-based nutrition program improves cardiovascular health in adults and features characteristics that may inform future nutrition programs and public health interventions.
Research Centre on Aging, University of Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada; School of Social Work, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada.,
Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.,
Research Centre on Aging, University of Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada; School of Social Work, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada.
Health Technology and Social Services Assessment Unit, Eastern Townships Integrated University Health and Social Services Centre, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada; Department of Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. Electronic address: email@example.com.
Pub Type(s)Journal Article