There is growing evidence that has shown the key benefits of eating a plant based diet. The fibre found in a plant based diet will aid the food and waste to move more smoothly through your system. Additionally, it can positively impact the trillions of bacteria living inside our gut, influencing the structure and function of our microbiota.
Some studies have shown that a plant based diet to be one of the healthiest. Over the years, plant based diets have gained acceptance as a dietary strategy for maintaining good health and have been found to treat medical conditions. Providing useful medical nutrition therapy, plant based diets aid in treating conditions of metabolic syndrome, including obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
What is a ‘plant based’ diet?
A diet that is ‘plant based’ focuses on foods that are derived from a plant source. Choosing a plant based diet does not label you as a ‘vegetarian’ or ‘vegan’, but an individual that opts for plant sourced options over animal sourced products. Being ‘plant-based’ does not fully limit the level of meat consumption, but more so means that the diet is mainly consisting of vegetarian foods.
Many individuals do not consider the full benefits of cutting down their meat consumption and becoming plant based due to many psychological barriers. Many believe that the nutritional value of a plant based diet is not adequate to one consuming meat. Ill-nutrition is an attribute that is attached to plant-based diets due to low education, and evidence of disinterest in changing eating habits. As mentioned in How does red meat affect my gut health? The over-consumption of meat has been linked to cardiovascular disease and bowel cancer. Making the smallest of changes to your current diet, and reducing the consumption of meat can benefit you in the long run.
How can I benefit from going plant based?
There are many health benefits by changing your eating habits to eating less animal products. Incorporating more grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts will not only decrease the amount of processed foods you intake. But additionally lower blood pressure, and improves energy levels through the additional vitamin B12 found in plant derived products.
Individuals who consume a plant based diet tend to have a lower BMI than those who do not consume a plant based diet. Adopting this diet can additionally be effective for weight loss and the management of obesity.
What are some ways I can incorporate a plant based lifestyle everyday?
There are many animal-free substitutes you can incorporate into your lifestyle. Not everyday has to be completely plant-based, but taking small steps will not only improve your diet, but your gut health too!
Replacing dense meat options for a substitute protein. Why not try replacing the chicken in your salad with chickpeas, tofu or tempeh. Tofu additionally reduces cholesterol levels, ultimately reducing your risk of heart disease.
Removing dairy yogurts with dairy-free cultured yogurts, and adding grains, oats and fruits makes a great substitute for snack processed foods.