What is a Plant-Based Diet?
People often refer to plant-based diets, but what does that actually mean? A plant-based diet is one that includes mostly plants and minimizes animal products. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you are a vegetarian or vegan, although you can be. You may still eat meat, dairy, and eggs but in smaller quantities than someone who does not follow a plant-based diet.
There are many benefits to following a plant-based diet. These include reducing your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. Plant-based diets are also linked to lower rates of obesity and lower cholesterol levels. If you are interested in following a plant-based diet, there are a few things to keep in mind.
How to Follow a Plant-Based Diet
Choose Whole Foods Over Processed Foods
When following a plant-based diet, it is important to choose whole foods over processed foods. This means eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts as opposed to foods that have been processed and have added salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats. Processed foods are often less nutritious than whole foods and can be higher in calories.
Make sure you’re getting enough protein
Another important thing to remember when following a plant-based diet is to make sure you’re getting enough protein. Protein is essential for our bodies to function properly but can be found in both animal and plant sources. Animal sources of protein include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy. Plant sources of protein include beans, lentils, tofu, nuts, and seeds. It is important to eat a variety of protein sources so that you are getting all the essential amino acids your body needs.
Include healthy fats in your diet
Fats are an important part of our diet but not all fats are created equal. Unsaturated fats such as olive oil and avocados are good for our health while trans fats and saturated fats should be limited. When following a plant-based diet, it is important to include healthy fats from plants in your diet as they provide essential fatty acids our bodies need.
A plant-based diet has many benefits for our health but it’s important to do it the right way by choosing whole foods over processed ones and including healthy fats in our diets. By following these tips, you will be on your way to reaping the benefits of a plant-based diet!