Food for Thought: The benefits of a plant-based diet

Local News

Changing what you eat can help you shed pounds, lower cholesterol and prevent Type 2 diabetes. Learn how one family cleaned up their diet and now works to help others do the same.

We met a mother who is using social media to spread the word about the plant healthy-spreads she and her family make and munch.

Adrienne, Lenolan Sr. & Jr., and little Layla will make you laugh-out-loud as they prepare finger-lickin’ good plant-based creations.

The Edge’s are rolling in the dough “And guys, this is our take and bake Friday night pizza night,” said mom on their “Cooking with Friends” segment on Facebook Live.

“But guys, what did mommy do to it? Vegan pepperoni. I made vegan pepperoni!”

Lenolon Sr., Adrienne and their children, 8-year-old Lenolon Jr. and 2-year-old Layla are grounded in a plant-based lifestyle.

“My husband actually has genetically high cholesterol, so on one of his wellness checks they wanted him to go on medication to control that,” explained Adrienne. “We were not even 35 yet, that was something we were not willing to do.”

She continued, “my son who is 8 had a lot of issues with congestion and once you get into cold and flu season, catches a bug – but it was hard for him to get over that.”

Adrienne works at the Medical University of South Carolina. She found a safe and simple answer to the family’s health concerns.

“One of the things I did research with was just how to cure and heal yourself with food,” she said.

They are vegan-ish and it’s very rare the eat any animal products.

“We know that cholesterol is found in animal-based products,” explained Adrienne. “Likewise with dairy, which increases production of mucus in your lungs – so if you already have issues getting sick or getting over illnesses, that is something that can make it much worse.”

They share meals and recipes on Facebook Live to encourage family and friends to adopt a similar lifestyle.

We went to an expert on food and nutrition. Meet Debbie Petitpain; she is a registered dietician, nutritionist and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

She says back to the basics is the rule of thumb when thinking of a plant-based lifestyle.

“A plant-based diet is healthy at every stage of the life cycle including pregnancy, lactation, childhood and beyond,” she said.

“For the most part, it is a diet that centers around fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains and excludes or limits other sources of protein primarily from animals.”

She said all of the diets that have been prescribed by registered dietitians, physicians and other health experts are plant-based.

“Whether you are talking about Mediterranean, dash or just a healthy eating plan, all of those diets emphasize plants first,” she said.

Petitpain advises you to use technology and your time wisely. It makes sense and will save you money.

You can enjoy more of the Edges’ “Cooking with Friends” on Facebook Live. Their segments will air once each week.

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