Why Is Plant-based Diet Growing In Popularity Day By Day?

Last updated on August 17, 2022, at 08:48 am

More people are eating plant-based foods every year

What does “plant-based diet” mean, anyway? Is it the same thing as being vegetarian or vegan? Or does this diet just mean you make an effort to pack more veggies into your meals?

Some people use the word 'plant-based diet' to mean the vegan diet. Or you can say that a plant-based diet emphasizes eating foods like fruits, vegetables, and legumes, and limits foods like meat, dairy, and eggs (or vice versa).

The plant-based diet trend is definitely gaining traction. People are starting to realize that there are many benefits to consuming a mostly plant-based diet. From improving health to reducing environmental impact, adopting a plant-based lifestyle can help make a difference. 
But what exactly does that mean? What foods are included in a plant-based diet? How do you start? Is it even possible to eat a completely plant-based diet? 

Foods to Eat on a Whole-Foods, Plant-Based Diet Plant-Based Shopping List

Plant based food

The idea behind a plant-based diet is simple: it emphasizes consuming lots of colorful fruits, veggies, beans, nuts, and seeds while limiting animal products. But there’s much more to it than that. So let’s dig into some facts about what you can and cannot eat on a plant-forward diet.

1. What Foods Are Considered Plant-Based?

A plant-based diet is one where the main focus is on plants—fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. Some people go even further and avoid meat, poultry, and seafood altogether. This type of diet is often referred to as vegan because it excludes all animal products.2

2. Is It Healthy To Be Vegan/Vegetarian?

While many experts agree that a plant-based diet is healthy, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to say whether being vegetarian is healthier than eating meat.3 In fact, vegans tend to struggle with nutrient deficiencies due to limited sources of protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin B12.4 However, it does seem clear that a plant-based lifestyle is associated with lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.5

3. How Does A Plant-Based Diet Compare With Other Diets?

There are several different types of diets out there. Some are restrictive, meaning they limit how much food you can consume throughout the day. Others allow you to eat whatever you want but suggest you do so within reason

Foods to Eat on a Whole-Foods, Plant-Based Diet

A whole-food, plant-based diet focuses on eating mostly plants and avoiding processed foods, added sugars, and grains. Animal foods are eaten in small amounts and with attention given to the quality of the items. For example, you might eat grass-fed beef once every few weeks rather than daily. Dairy, eggs, poultry, meats, and fish are eaten in smaller quantities, while nuts and seeds provide protein and healthy fats.

The benefits of whole food, plant-based diet include weight loss, better health, improved mood and energy levels, increased life expectancy, and lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Plant based food

A Whole-Foods, Plant-Based Shopping List

There are many reasons why we eat what we do. Some people like to indulge; others want to lose weight. But whatever our reason for eating healthfully, there are some basic guidelines that apply across the board. Here are 10 tips to help you make healthier food choices.

1. Shop at farmer's markets. They offer seasonal produce at lower prices than grocery stores, plus it’s often fresher because it hasn’t traveled very far.

2. Buy local. If you don’t live near one, consider buying foods from nearby farms rather than shipping them in from afar. Local food tends to taste better and supports smaller businesses.

3. Choose whole over processed foods. Processed foods tend to contain more salt, sugar, and preservatives than whole foods. Also, look for products labeled “whole grain” or “100% whole wheat.”

4. Eat less meat. Try to limit yourself to no more than three servings per week. A serving size is about 4 ounces of cooked beef, poultry, fish, eggs, or tofu. You can find out how much protein is in each type of animal product here.

5. Go easy on dairy. Dairy is high in saturated fat and cholesterol, and too much of it can increase your risk of heart disease. Stick to low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, and ice cream.

6. Avoid sugary drinks. Soda and sports drinks typically contain artificial ingredients and lots of added sugars. Instead, choose water, tea, coffee, or flavored seltzer.

How do you get protein on a plant-based diet?

A lack of protein causes fatigue, muscle cramps, and headaches. If you're looking to bulk up, it's important to eat enough high-quality protein each day. In addition to animal products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, meat, fish, poultry, etc., most people consume plenty of protein from plant foods. However, many people feel confused about how to choose the right amount of protein from different types of food. Here's what you need to know.


Plant based food

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