Health Advice



Is your plant-based diet actually healthy? Maybe not

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

A few years ago, two men filed a class-action lawsuit against Hain Celestial Group, maker of Garden Veggie Straws, a vegetable-flavored snack food composed of mostly potato and corn starches. They argued that the package label was misleading, and people thought they were getting a healthy dose of veggies by eating a few fistfuls of the straws.

The plaintiffs were onto something. New research suggests that some folks who eat a plant-based diet are short-circuiting the remarkable health benefits (dodging diabetes, heart disease, dementia and some cancers) by consuming lots of refined grains and veggie- and fruit-based sweets and juices, which are junk foods. The research, presented at the American College of Cardiology's annual meeting, found that eating a plant-based diet loaded with sugar and refined carbs is as bad for your heart health as chowing down a diet based on meat, eggs and dairy.

One interesting insight: You also need to be careful of what you snack on. Women in the study tended to snack more than men, eating four to five times a day. Compared with men, they showed a sharp increase in heart disease risk when they ate a junky plant-based diet and a sharp reduction in risk when they were eating a healthful plant-based diet.

So remember, if you like to snack between meals, try foods with nutritional value and plenty of crunch, like an ounce of walnuts or almonds, sliced apple with nut butter, pickles, olives and sliced veggies with guacamole or hummus. And keep mealtimes free from highly processed plant-based foods.



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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