Leading health experts champion plant-based foods

“Our engagement in the Dietary Guidelines review process not only reflects Sanitarium’s commitment to healthy plant-based eating but continues our long history of contributing to key public health nutrition initiatives which improve community health outcomes,” said Shane Landon, Nutrition Insights Manager. Shane is leading Sanitarium’s representation in the Australian Government Dietary Guidelines review process. 

Sanitarium’s Plant power: Should plant proteins be prioritised in dietary advice? recent webinar featured leading health experts Prof. Linda Van Horn and Dr Rosemary Stanton advocating for the inclusion of more plant-based foods in dietary advice. The webinar forms a key piece in the multi-layered engagement and education program developed by our Nutrition Insights team. It highlights the importance of increasing plant foods, particularly plant proteins, in the updated Dietary Guidelines, which are due to be completed in 2024.

Linda Van Horn, Professor in the Department of Preventative Medicine and Division Chief of Nutrition at the Feinberg School of Medicine (USA) explained the science behind the recommendations to include more plant-based foods in dietary advice. 

During the webinar, Linda Van Horn spoke to the;

“systematic review of plant-based eating patterns showing improved outcomes in terms of overall mortality and cardiovascular mortality.” She commented that “the more the diet can shift to replace these animal-sourced foods to plant-based foods, the healthier the outcomes tend to be.” 

The American Heart Association Dietary Guidance 2021 has specifically prioritised plant proteins – recommending “mostly protein from plants” (in particular, legumes and nuts). 

Fellow nutrition expert Dr Rosemary Stanton OAM has a strong interest in sustainability and presented a compelling case for a plant-rich diet during the webinar. 

Our current food system is unhealthy and unsustainable, both globally and locally,” she explains. “We have very high levels of food waste, a problem we can’t ignore. What we need according to the World Health Organisation, and lots of other authorities, is to bias our diets much more towards plant-based foods and reduce our consumption of highly processed foods, which have the twin aims of better health and greater sustainability. As the world population increases, we’re going to need to feed all these people. Now it’s unsustainable for the world to keep increasing their consumption of animal foods.”

Since Sanitarium’s beginnings in 1898, we’ve continued to educate our communities and pioneer innovative, healthy foods in line with our food framework in our endeavours to create sustainable healthy communities.

Find out more about our approach to food here.

[1] Sanitarium Health Food Company. Survey (Survey Monkey) promoted through Dietitian Connection in eDM. Plant power: Should plant proteins be prioritized in dietary advice? 132 respondents. 2022 August 24 to September 6