Embrace the incredible health benefits of a plant-based diet

How rich plant-based diets help with weight loss

On a plant-based plan, the emphasis is on whole or minimally processed plant foods, and animal foods, if eaten, are consumed in smaller portions or less frequently

plant based food

Chia Seeds Tofu Whole Grain Bread Quinoa Oats Link Plant-Based Diets-Prostate Cancer

Best Sources of Plant-Based Protein

  • Plant-based diets help produce a calorie deficit

There are many factors involved in weight loss, but one thing’s for sure: You need to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight. And a plant-based diet may make this easier because plant foods generally contain fewer calories per bite than animal foods. For example, the average calorie range per pound of lean meat is 600 to 800 calories — about 100 calories more, on average, than the same quantity of beans. 

Research has found that people generally eat the same weight of food at meals, so by eating larger amounts of plant foods, you can enjoy the same volume of food for fewer calories.

plant based food

  • Plant-based diets are full of fiber

Fiber is a buzzword in weight loss because fiber-rich foods are known to promote fullness. Instead of cutting portion sizes of higher-calorie foods, it may be more manageable and sustainable to eat substantial portions of fiber-rich plant foods. But fiber may influence weight loss in other ways, too.

  • Plant-based diets promote insulin sensitivity

Insulin’s main job is to keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range by ushering glucose in your blood to your cells to be used as energy. But it also has a backup plan to provide energy when your cells run out of the quick-acting form. That plan is to store some of this fuel as fat. At the same time, high insulin levels prevent the breakdown of fat, enabling it to build up in cells. For a variety of reasons, when your cells become resistant to insulin’s actions, weight gain is more likely to occur.

The best plant-based diet for weight loss

The best plant-based diet for weight loss emphasizes whole or minimally-processed fiber-rich foods, including vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, pulses, and whole grains. It may also include some dairy, eggs, fish, or other animal proteins.

plant based food

A 7-Day Sample Menu for a Standard Plant-Based Diet

Day Breakfast Lunch Dinner Snack
1 Tofu scramble Cauliflower rice bowl with black beans, corn, avocado, and salsa Veggie-topped pizza Zucchini chips
2 Oatmeal-based breakfast muffins Tomato basil soup with oyster crackers Veggie stir-fry with tofu Hummus wrap
3 Homemade oatmeal bars Greek salad with a slice of whole-grain pita bread Kale and tofu curry Cashew yogurt with berries and a scoop of peanut butter
4 Breakfast burrito with eggs, peppers, and salsa Veggie burger and a side salad Cauliflower “steak” with roasted sweet potato fries Veggies with hummus
5 Dairy-free yogurt with berries and granola Tomato sandwich with pesto and a drizzle of olive oil Whole-wheat pasta with roasted tomatoes Roasted chickpeas
6 Chia seed pudding with fresh berries and a spoonful of almond butter Avocado toast Vegan mushroom enchiladas Handful of almonds
7 Oatmeal with almond milk Quinoa bowl with roasted carrots and sweet potatoes Vegetarian chili topped with slices of avocado Whole-wheat toast topped with peanut butter
New research provides fresh evidence that plant-rich diets may protect against prostate cancer.

The study, published in the November 2021 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, leveraged data from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS)—a large-scale study that has tracked the diets and health outcomes of more than 40,000 male participants since 1986. Between 1986 and 2014, 6,655 HPFS participants developed prostate cancer.

While previous research has looked at associations between specific plant foods, such as tomatoes, and prostate cancer, this latest study examined what impact an overall plant-rich eating pattern might have.

“We were very interested to look at dietary patterns, [because of] these previous findings and the fact that people consume an overall diet, not just one food,” Dr. Stacy Loeb, MD, PhD, who co-authored the study, said in an interview this week with Urology Times.  

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