Slim and healthy vegans

This is an archived article that was published on in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Oprah is setting a positive example for Americans by exploring a vegan diet ("Oprah checks out the vegan diet: Will America follow?" Tribune, May 27).

As a physician and an endocrinologist, I know that making healthy dietary choices can make a real difference in our health and well-being.

Replacing meat and dairy products with low-fat, high-fiber vegetarian foods can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, shed unwanted pounds, and even reverse some chronic health problems such as metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes or even heart disease.

The American Dietetic Association endorses a well-planned, plant-based diet as completely healthy for all stages of life.

Poor dietary and lifestyle choices have fueled our nation's obesity and diabetes crisis. But moving toward - and sticking to - a plant-based diet could help Americans stay slim and healthy for life.

Alireza Falahati-Nini, M.D.

Salt Lake City