Should You Start a Plant-based Diet?
today at 12:31 pm
If you are looking to try something different regarding nutrition, you may want to consider a plant-based diet. A plant-based diet consists of eating foods derived from plants. These foods include vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits. Being on a plant-based diet does not mean you have to be a vegetarian. You can be a flexitarian or semi-vegetarian occasionally eating meat or you can be a pescatarian who eats fish.
There are numerous benefits to a plant-based diet. On a plant-based diet you consume fewer calories than you would on an animal protein diet. Foods derived from plants typically have fewer calories than animal products. Plant foods are low in saturated and trans fats. Reducing these fats will help you lower the risk of heart disease. Eating plant-based foods also provides you with fiber. Fiber assists with controlling cholesterol and helps prevent constipation.
Plant foods contain vitamins C and E which are antioxidants. They help protect cells in the body from damage by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that cause aging, tissue damage and can lead to diseases. Plant foods contain phytochemicals. Some scientist believe that phytochemicals assist with the prevention of some diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.
You can get protein from plant-based foods. Some plant-based foods that include protein are chickpeas, black beans, quinoa, almonds, sunflower seeds and peas. If you eat meat, you should eat small portions. A portion of meat is about the size of a deck of cards. Consider your meat as a garnish instead of the main part of your meal. I know that goes against the way most of us were taught to eat. Meat was the most important part of the meal and vegetables were considered a side.
I am not saying that starting a plant-based diet is easy. It will take some research and deciding what plant foods are best for you. You may need to speak with your doctor or a dietitian. Eating Well has an article regarding a plant-based diet for beginners. The article has links to recipes and a sample menu plan. http://www.eatingwell.com/article/7775696/plant-based-diet-for-beginners-your-guide-to-getting-started/