God forbid you get sick and end up in the hospital. If the illness doesn't kill you, the food will. But now, at least if you or someone you love gets admitted for any reason -- hopefully it's for a good reason, such as you're delivering a baby, or at least something with a good outcome that leaves you on the mend -- now in New York State, you can request a plant-based meal. 

The only thing worse than airplane food may be hospital food. But with the new law going into effect in New York, if you have to go to the hospital, now you can count on not being served heart-stopping mystery meat, artery-clogging cheese, or other animal products that when eaten regularly are sure to raise your LDL and send your cardiologist ordering more lab tests.

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law on December 6th, the second in the nation of its kind, after California, to guarantee all patients will be offered plant-based snacks and meals in hospitals in the state. The bill was applauded by The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, founded by Dr. Neal Barnard, long an advocate of the benefits of eating vegan or plant-based. He has made a career out of educating people to the dangers of animal products and the connection between animal products and increased risk of disease, including heart disease, diabetes, and even some cancers. The Physicians Committee is the group proposing that the USDA adds warning labels to cheese since Dr. Barnard makes the case that the hormones in cheese increase the risk of some cancers, including breast cancer. You can read The Beet's interview with Dr. Barnard here. 

More health practitioners are recommending their patients who have heart disease, diabetes, high blood sugar or other diet-related illnesses adopt a plant-based diet. But the best place to start, or moment to chuck the animal fat, is right here and now. Doctors are known to be notoriously bad on the details when it comes to nutrition and here at The Beet, we like to work with docs who are "woke" to the benefits of a vegan or plant-based approach for health purposes, to dial back the symptoms of heart disease, diabetes, and more. So we welcome this move as a step in the right direction.

“By making plant-based meals the law in hospitals, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has put New York on the forefront of a growing movement to ensure that hospitals provide patients healthy, plant-based meals to fight heart disease, diabetes, and obesity,” said Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., director of nutrition education for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. The Physician's Committee issued a press release to tout the change in status for patients.

So stay healthy, fill your plate with a whole-food, plant-based diet and stay out of the hospital. But if someone you love happens to need surgery, let them know they can ask for plant-based meals, which will not only make them feel better and heal faster, but set them on the right track for a speedy recovery and healthier future to come. Then send them to The Beet to learn more about how to "just add plants!"


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