Plant-based versus vegetable-only diets


By Leanne McCrate



Dear Readers,

A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece on nutrition myths. There were some myths specific to cancer, one of which read:

Myth: An-all vegetable diet helps cure cancer. There was a patient in the hospital that revealed she had followed an all-veggie diet for cancer and exclaimed, “I lost 30 pounds, and it was all muscle!” A vegetables-only diet will leave you malnourished and dissatisfied, and on no uncertain terms, will not improve a cancer diagnosis.

This drew criticism from a reader who wrote:

In what universe will a plant-based diet leave you malnourished and dissatisfied? I am shocked that you as a dietitian would think that, let alone print it in a column. Do you have any idea how many doctors espouse plant-based diets as a satisfying and nutritionally complete way of eating? I would love to see the references you used to come up with this nonsense about malnourishment and dissatisfaction in a plant-based diet.

Signed,

Steamed Vegan

Dear Steamed Vegan,

I apologize for not making myself clear. You are correct in that a plant-based diet can be fully nourishing and satisfying. My point is that insufficient protein in a vegetables-only diet (like the one the cancer patient had been on), would leave one malnourished.

Thank you for keeping me on my toes!

Sincerely,

Dear Dietitian

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By Leanne McCrate

Leanne McCrate is an award-winning dietitian based in Missouri. Her mission is to educate the public on sound, evidence-based nutrition. Do you have a nutrition question? Email her at deardietitian411@gmail.com.

Leanne McCrate is an award-winning dietitian based in Missouri. Her mission is to educate the public on sound, evidence-based nutrition. Do you have a nutrition question? Email her at deardietitian411@gmail.com.