x

Food

From Meat-Lovers to Veg-Heads: The Rise of Plant-Based Diets

Sales of plant-based foods are expected to increase fivefold within the next 10 years, according to an expert report from Bloomberg Intelligence published in 2021. Not surprising, given the increase in people who have adopted plant-based diets in recent years.

What was once seen as a niche lifestyle choice has become a global phenomenon, with more and more people embracing the benefits of cutting meat and other animal products from their diets.

From celebrities to nutritionists, plant-based diets are being touted as the key to optimal health and well-being. The rise of plant-based diets can be attributed to various factors, including concerns about animal welfare, the environment, and personal health.

People are becoming more aware of the negative impact of a meat-heavy diet on their bodies and the planet and are seeking healthier and more sustainable alternatives. Jacqueline Sanchez from Parent Portfolio was motivated by her results.

She says, “The biggest motivation for our family was from watching the documentary Forks Over Knives and then later The Game Changers. I highly believe that health is wealth. It first started with trying to find a solution for eczema problems. Many on YouTube suggested going dairy free. I tried it for two weeks and saw results in four days! That started my research into a whole food plant-based diet.”

This article will explore the reasons behind the growth of plant-based diets, the benefits they offer, and how they affect how we think about food.

What Is A Plant-Based Diet?

A plant-based diet prioritizes whole, minimally processed foods from plants such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. It involves reducing or eliminating the consumption of animal products like meat, dairy, and eggs.

Plant-based diets are often confused with veganism. However, vegans follow a plant-based diet by strictly avoiding all animal-derived products. Plant-based dieters, on the other hand, may still consume some animal products in smaller quantities.

Following a primarily plant-based dietary pattern could be a favorable decision for your body’s well-being and positively affect our natural environment.

Why Are People Switching To A Plant-Based Diet?

There are numerous reasons why more people are transitioning from a meat-loving diet to a plant-based one. Iryna Bychkiv from Lavender and Macarons says, “After witnessing dear people around me get sick with preventable diseases, I decided to switch to a healthy plant-based diet. I love the idea of food as medicine, and I truly believe that clean, plant-based eating in conjunction with exercise and stress reduction is one of the most important factors to a healthy and happy life.”

Here are some other reasons:

Nutrient Density

Vegetables are packed with essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function properly. These nutrients are often more concentrated in vegetables compared to chicken or meat, making them a great source of nutrition. For example, spinach is loaded with iron, while sweet potatoes are packed with vitamin A.

Fiber Content

Vegetables are also high in fiber, which helps support healthy digestion and can improve heart health. Natural fiber is only found in plant-based foods, so you can increase your overall fiber intake by eating more vegetables.

Lower Fat Content

Many vegetables are naturally low in fat, making them a great option for those looking to maintain a healthy weight. By comparison, many types of meat can be high in saturated fat, which has been linked to an increased risk of some health problems.

Reduced Risk of Disease

Alex Caspero MA, RD, plant-based dietitian at Delish Knowledge, says, “In assessing the nutrition literature, it’s clear that a plant-predominant dietary pattern is best in reducing the risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

“That’s not to say that the diet has to be plant-exclusive or vegan to provide benefits; strong evidence exists to show that a plant-rich dietary pattern that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, unsaturated fats, legumes, nuts, and seeds is associated with decreased risk of all-cause mortality, even with lean meat and fish included.”

Environmental Impact

Lastly, eating more vegetables and less meat can positively impact the environment. Reducing or eliminating animal products from your diet helps decrease your carbon footprint since animal agriculture contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation.

The Best Foods To Eat On A Plant-Based Diet

When it comes to a plant-based diet, there are numerous delicious and nutritious foods to choose from. Here are some recommended foods you should include in your plant-based meals.

Fruits and Vegetables: These should comprise the bulk of your diet as they provide essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that help keep you healthy. An excellent way to eat a lot of veggies is to make stir-fries and garnish with your favorite seasoning for a truly enjoyable experience.Whole grains: These complex carbohydrates provide sustained energy throughout the day while offering essential nutrients such as fiber and B vitamins. Great options include brown rice, quinoa, oats, and whole wheat bread.Legumes: Beans, lentils, and chickpeas, offer an excellent source of protein for those following a plant-based diet. They’re also loaded with fiber which helps keep you feeling full for more extended periods.Nuts & seeds: Packed with healthy fats (omega-3 fatty acids), protein, and other essential nutrients, these versatile ingredients can be added to salads or used in baking recipes. Examples include almonds, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds.Newer Ways Of Plant-Based Eating

While traditional vegetarian and vegan diets are well-known, several newer ways of plant-based eating offer unique benefits.

Flexitarianism

Flexitarianism, or semi-vegetarianism, is an eating style that emphasizes plant-based foods while allowing for the occasional consumption of meat and other animal products. A flexitarian might choose to have a vegetarian or vegan meal a few times a week but still occasionally reach for chicken, pork, or dairy products. This flexible approach to eating can make the transition to a more plant-based diet easier for some people.

Raw Veganism

Raw veganism is an eating style that emphasizes consuming raw, uncooked, and unprocessed plant-based foods. This includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains. The idea behind this way of eating is that cooking food can reduce its nutritional value and may even destroy some beneficial enzymes.

While raw veganism can be challenging to maintain long-term, it can offer unique health benefits and is gaining popularity among some plant-based eaters.

Plant-Based Keto

Plant-based keto is a variation of the traditional ketogenic diet that focuses on consuming a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet of plant-based foods. Instead of relying on animal products for fat and protein, plant-based keto followers may consume foods such as avocados, nuts and seeds, coconut oil, and plant-based protein powders.

This approach to plant-based eating is gaining popularity among those looking to lose weight, manage blood sugar levels, or improve overall health.

Switching to Plant-Based

Transitioning to a plant-based diet has become increasingly popular for many reasons. It is better for the environment and can have numerous health benefits, such as reducing your risk of chronic diseases and helping you maintain a healthy weight.

Switching to a plant-based diet doesn’t mean you must give up all of your favorite foods or compromise on taste. With an abundance of delicious and nutritious options available, there’s never been a better time to make the switch.

This article was produced by Low Carb Africa and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

 

RELATED

Incorporating seasonal fruits and vegetables into our meals is a great way to boost our overall health.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

1 of 2 Abducted Louisiana Children is Found Dead in Mississippi after Their Mother is Killed

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Louisiana woman was found dead in her home Thursday, and her two young daughters were abducted and found hours later in Mississippi — one dead and the other alive, police said.

DUESSELDORF, Germany  — It was a classic N'Golo Kanté performance.

FRANKFURT, Germany  — Two Romelu Lukaku goals were ruled out by video review and Belgium fell to a stunning 1-0 loss to Slovakia in wild Group E at the European Championship on Monday.

TORONTO  — A man and woman were shot to death and a male suspected as the attacker also died Monday at a north Toronto office space near a daycare center and a school, authorities said.

FLUSHING, NY – St. John’s Head Coach Rick Pitino was honored for his outstanding contributions to Panathinaikos B.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.