2020 has brought a lot of thing to our attention, health being a big one. Before this year, the majority of the world population didn’t think much of the way they lived. How they acted, how everyday choices affected them.
But then, this thing called a “World Pandemic” happened, and we were all forced to step back and listened to what was going on (either we wanted to or not)
Food is a big part of our lives. There are even people that say they live to eat and not eat to live (myself included) because food is SO good. But how many of you out there have ever thought of what they put into your bodies. The amount of chemicals and preservatives and not quality ingredients we find in everyday meals is astonishing.
We are not here to argue whether meat is good for you or not. We are here to talk about the benefits of leading a plant-based nutrition. This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans. It doesn’t mean that you are vegetarian or vegan and never eat meat or dairy. Rather, you are proportionately choosing more of your foods from plant sources.
What is the evidence that plant-based eating patterns are healthy? Well, I’m glad you asked! A lot of studies show that plant -based eating patterns such as the Mediterranean diet and a vegetarian diet are beneficial to your health. The Mediterranean diet has a foundation of plant-based foods; but also includes fish, poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt (maybe not every day) with meats and sweets less often.
The Mediterranean diet has been shown in both large population studies and randomized clinical trials to reduce risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, certain cancers, depression and more.
Vegetarian diets have also been shown to support health, including a lower risk of developing coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and increased longevity.
Plant-based diets offer all the necessary protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals for optimal health, being high in fiber and phytonutrients. This doesn’t mean that some vegans don’t need to add a supplement to their diets (specifically vitamin B12) to ensure they receive all the nutrients required. But then again, vegetarian and vegan are two different things.
The Vegetarian diet comes in different shapes and sizes, and should you pursue it, choose the version that works best for you.
- Semi-vegetarian or flexitarian: this includes eggs, dairy, and occasionally meat, poultry, ﬁsh, and seafood.
- Pescatarian: (very popular the last 4 years) this includes eggs, dairy foods, ﬁsh, and seafood, but no meat or poultry.
- Vegetarian (or sometimes, depending on the crowd you hang out with, referred to as lacto-ovo vegetarian) which includes eggs and dairy foods, but no meat, poultry, ﬁsh, or seafood.
- And lastly, vegan: which includes NO animal foods.
If you are curious about a plant-based diet and want to start getting into this world, here are some tips to take into account when being more mindful about the way we eat:
Eat lots of vegetables. Try to fill at least half your plate with vegetables at lunch and dinner.
Change the way you think about meat. This could mean smaller amounts. Or using it as a garnish instead of a centerpiece.
Choose good fats: Fats in olive oil, olives, nuts and nut butters, seeds, and avocados are particularly healthy choices.
Eat fruit for dessert. A ripe, juicy peach, a refreshing slice of watermelon, or a crisp apple will satisfy your craving for a sweet bite after a meal.
There is still so much more to the food world that we have not even began to cover, if you have any questions please contact us through our social media. There is no TIME to waste when you’re changing you’re eating habits!