Art of Aging: Plant-based diets

CENTER CITY (WPVI) -- A plant-based diet is a way to eat healthy while gaining many benefits at the same time.

Shannon Fisher of Swarthmore, Pa. says, "I try to eat at least two meals a day with no animal products."

She is part of a growing trend, people who are at least part-time vegetarians.

And, it's why more and more restaurants are serving up meatless meals, like Center City's Hip City Veg. The restaurant specializes in familiar fast foods that are completely plant-based, like vegan jerk chicken Caesar salad, sweet potato fries and veggie burgers.

Nicole Marquis is the President and CEO of Hip City Veg. She says, "My dad is one of the greatest reasons I got into this business to begin with. In his fifties he was overweight and had high blood pressure."

When he cut meat from his diet, the benefits were clear.

"I lost about 25 pounds. My blood pressure came down and I was able to get off all my blood pressure medication," said Phil Marquis.

"The greatest health risks, especially for older people, are heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes. And, numerous studies have shown that these medical conditions are less prevalent with a plant-based diet," added Nicole.

Mount Laurel, N.J. resident Mike Tralies said, "My son's a vegan and I wanted to come in and see what kind of food they offer."

Convincing people to just give vegan dining a shot is often the biggest challenge.

"I'm not sure what it is, but it is good," said Mike.

Phil says, "I think what really convinces people are results when they feel better."

You can visit our Art of Aging section for information on other life benefits.
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