PCRM’s New GEICO Study Shows How Plant-Based Diets Improve Nutrition
In addition to promoting weight loss and reducing cholesterol and blood sugar, a plant-based diet improves overall nutrition, according to a new Physicians Committee study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
In the 18-week intervention program, GEICO employees who dined on vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains reduced their intake of calories, fat, and cholesterol while increasing their intake of protective nutrients, including fiber, beta-carotene, vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium.
“Weight loss is easy when you’re filling up with fiber,” says registered dietitian Joseph Gonzales, R.D., a study author and staff dietitian for the Physicians Committee. “And nutrition gets dramatically better.”
Participants in the four-month study lost an average of 10 pounds, lowered LDL cholesterol by 13 points, and improved blood sugar control. By providing weekly “lunch and learn” meetings about weight loss and disease prevention; demonstrating healthful cooking techniques; offering grocery store tours; and guiding online discussion forums, dietitians stayed connected with close to 300 employees from 10 regional offices throughout the country.
Dietitians worked with cafeteria managers to create easy “grab-and-go” lunches. “You have to meet people where they are; if your employees are used to quick meals from the cafeteria, stock it with black bean chili and hummus vegetable wraps,” advises Mr. Gonzales.
Employees enjoyed the cooking tips, lectures, and most importantly collaborating with colleagues from different departments to reach their health goals.
To learn about the Physicians Committee’s Employee Wellness Program, visit PCRM.org/Wellness.