Press Releases

California Walnuts And The Produce For Better Health Foundation Partner To Launch “Have A Plant®: The Plant-Forward Eating Guide”

Katie Toulouse, Marketing & Communications Director
Produce for Better Health Foundation
[email protected]

First-Of-Its-Kind Guide And Behavioral Framework Provide Food Industry Professionals With Insights, Ideas And Inspiration To Encourage Consumers To Eat More Plants

Jan. 25, 2021 – The California Walnut Board, in partnership with the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), announced today the launch of Have A Plant®: The Plant-Forward Eating Guide. While global health experts agree that eating more plants is the single most important action people can take to enjoy happier, healthier lives, nine out of 10 Americans aren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables.[i]  California Walnuts and PBH created the guide and corresponding tools based on years of evidence to provide food and nutrition professionals with new resources to motivate more Americans to enjoy more fruits and vegetables, along with other deliciously nutritious plant foods, more often.

The Have A Plant®: The Plant-Forward Eating Guide takes a novel approach to solving the long-standing plant consumption gap by providing the industry with a framework to create lasting change: the PBH KNOW-FEEL-DO™ Behavioral Framework.

“Our research tells us that simply educating on the facts doesn’t move the needle for healthy eating.[ii]  Most Americans KNOW that eating plant foods, like fruits and vegetables, promotes health but that doesn’t always translate to action. To bridge consumers’ intention-action gap, we must inspire Americans with EASY ideas that makes the DOing simple, so they FEEL empowered and excited about how plant foods boost their health and happiness and add even more flavor to their favorite meals and snacks,” says Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, President and CEO, PBH. “Have A Plant: The Plant Forward Eating Guide and PBH’s KNOW-FEEL-DO™ Behavioral Framework do just that – making it easy and more enjoyable to eat more plants, more often.”

In addition to the framework, the guide puts forward definitions for the industry to adopt when it comes to “plant-based” and “plant-forward.” With consumers increasingly bombarded with conflicting health messages and maddening diet noise, universal industry standard terms provide a common ground – ultimately helping cut through the confusion and encourage a style of eating that prioritizes plants without excluding other food groups.

Plant-forward eating, which includes the consumption of fruits and vegetables at recommended levels and higher intake of nuts such as walnuts[iii], has been associated with a myriad of health benefits including a reduced risk of all causes of mortality,[iv] including cardiovascular disease (CVD)[v] and cancer[vi]. Research shows that eating more plants may also help improve gut health, which is the starting place for many other benefits, such as a healthy immune system and overall health.[vii]

One plant not to be overlooked is the walnut. A one-ounce handful is a powerhouse of important nutrients for optimum health, including protein (4g), fiber (2g) and a good source of magnesium (45mg). Heart-healthy walnuts[viii] are also the only nut significantly high in essential plant-based omega-3 ALA, an essential plant-based fatty acid that must come from food, with 2.5 grams per ounce.

“Walnuts aren’t always thought of as a plant but play an important role in a plant-forward diet, not only with their unique nutritional profile but also the satisfying taste and versatility they bring to any meal or snack,” says Michelle Connelly, Executive Director at the California Walnut Board. “The California Walnut Board developed the Have A Plant®: The Plant-Forward Eating Guide in partnership with PBH to help cut through the confusion on this topic and provide a useful resource for professionals and consumers when it comes to plant-forward eating. Because at the end the day, eating more plants should be practical, easy and enjoyable.”

The Have A Plant®: The Plant-Forward Eating Guide is available today ( for industry and health professionals and includes:

  • Definitions and infographics for use when talking with consumers;
  • Implications and opportunities for plant-forward menus at restaurants, including culinary and tasting experiences;
  • Trends and insights to showcase plant-forward shopper solutions in retail; and
  • A Digital Toolkit, which includes recipes, infographics and a social media playbook for professionals.

For more plant-forward inspiration, visit and


[i] Edelman Intelligence (2020). — Plant Forward Tracking Survey, [1000].
[ii] Cadario, R., & Chandon, P. (2019). Which Healthy Eating Nudges Work Best? A Meta-Analysis of Field Experiments. Marketing Science (Providence, R.I.), 39(3), 465–486.
[iii] Taylor C. Wallace, Regan L. Bailey, Jeffrey B. Blumberg, Britt Burton-Freeman, C-y. Oliver Chen, Kristi M. Crowe-White, Adam Drewnowski, Shirin Hooshmand, Elizabeth Johnson, Richard Lewis, Robert Murray, Sue A. Shapses & Ding Ding Wang (2020) Fruits, vegetables, and health: A comprehensive narrative, umbrella review of the science and recommendations for enhanced public policy to improve intake, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 60:13, 2174-2211, DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2019.1632258
[iv] Wang, X. et al. (2014). Fruit and vegetable consumption and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. BMJ : British Medical Journal, 349(jul29 3), g4490–g4490.
[v]  Kim, al. (2019). Plant-Based Diets Are Associated With a Lower Risk of Incident Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Disease Mortality, and All-Cause Mortality in a General Population of Middle-Aged Adults. Journal of the American Heart Association, 8(16), e012865-e012865.
[vi] Wang, X. et al. (2014). Fruit and vegetable consumption and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. BMJ : British Medical Journal, 349(jul29 3), g4490–g4490.
[vii] Tomova, A., Bukovsky, I., Rembert, E., Yonas, W., Alwarith, J., Barnard, N. D., & Kahleova, H. (2019). The Effects of Vegetarian and Vegan Diets on Gut Microbiota. Frontiers in Nutrition, 6. doi:10.3389/fnut.2019.00047
[viii] Supportive but not conclusive research shows that eating 1.5 ounces of walnuts per day, as part of a low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet and not resulting in increased caloric intake, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. (FDA) One ounce of walnuts offers 18g of total fat, 2.5g of monounsaturated fat, 13g of polyunsaturated fat including 2.5g of alpha-linolenic acid – the plant-based omega-3.