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Natural Awakenings Jacksonville-St. Augustine

All-Vegan Menu Debuts at Lebanon Hospital

Doctor holding out vegetables in hospital room

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Hayek Hospital, in suburban Beirut, Lebanon, launched a 100 percent plant-based menu in March as a “moral responsibility”. Patients will no longer be greeted after waking up from surgery with ham, cheese, milk and eggs, the same foods that may have contributed to their health problems. The family-owned private hospital emphasizes the health benefits of vegan diets, which have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

The hospital says deciding factors included the World Health Organization classification of processed meat consumption as carcinogenic, as well as the role that animal agriculture plays in spawning diseases and pandemics. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that three out of four new or emerging infectious diseases in humans come from animals.

The American Medical Association passed a resolution in 2017 requesting U.S. hospitals promote better health by offering plant-based meals to patients, staff and visitors, and similar recommendations have been issued by the American College of Cardiology. New York and California now have laws requiring hospitals to provide a plant-based option with meals.