The beginner’s guide to a plant-based diet
What is a Vegan Diet?
The term vegetable diet is quite self-explanatory. In this particular diet, the food consists mainly of plants. Fruits and vegetables are the two star components, but you can also add seeds, oils, legumes, nuts, and grains. Many people make this choice because of their conscience. They want to make this world a better place for everyone who lives in it.
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What are the benefits of a plant-based diet?
A look at the research reports on a plant-based diet can tell you its myriad benefits. From reducing the risk of chronic disease to having a big impact on the environment, plant-based diets have it all.
Reduce the risk of high blood pressure
It is well known that people with hypertension must avoid meat at all costs. Nothing triggers a serious health threat (i.e. stroke) like eating a large amount of meat, especially beef. Therefore, it is better to opt for a plant-based diet. It will keep your blood pressure under control and will not aggravate any existing medical condition.
Prevents heart disease
Nearly 18 million people lose their lives each year due to cardiovascular diseases. Saturated fats in meat are the main culprit behind the increase in cases of heart attacks every year. If you don’t have heart disease, it’s best to switch to a plant-based diet to keep it going. However, if you have one, going vegan is probably a much safer option. Take the oath on World Vegan Day and consider switching to the greener side!
Helps to lose weight
Basically, a plant-based diet helps you maintain a healthy weight. For obese people, it can help boost their metabolism so they can shed those extra pounds fast. And for people who are underweight, it can provide needed nutrients that they might be lacking in an otherwise unhealthy eating lifestyle.
Stop the spread of zoonotic diseases
Scientists designate viruses like swine flu, Covid-19, bird flu and bovine spongiform as zoonotic diseases. The origin of all these viruses can be traced back to animals. This is why one can simply deduce that people who follow a plant-based diet or a vegan diet are always less likely to get infected. Adapting the plant-based diet lifestyle would be great to control the spread of these animal-borne diseases.
Control the effects of menopause
Every woman who reaches menopause knows what hell awaits her after that. One thing that many women dread when they stop having their period is the intense hot flashes that continue to hit them throughout the day. Eating a plant-based diet, especially vegetables, will help reduce the severity of these hot flashes and subsequent chills.
Good for asthma patients
Besides air pollution, another thing that is the biggest enemy of asthma patients is fried chicken. Junk food has often been considered a factor that can have a negative impact on the health of someone who already has asthma. The large amount of oil and saturated fats can trigger an asthma attack. To counter it, adopting a plant-based lifestyle would be a great option. This won’t force you to completely give up meat, but it will drastically reduce your intake.
Is it possible for everyone to have a vegetable diet?
After Covid-19, the world is collectively opting for a healthier eating style. During the quarantine, many dishes were created from the ingredients already available. Since many people were avoiding meat, the plant-based diet became a suitable option for many. Today things are pretty much back to normal, but the plant-based diet has become a way of life for many. Many medical researchers and nutritionists have also confirmed that anyone can adopt this diet.
Can plant-based diets occasionally include meat?
Many people confuse a plant-based diet with a vegan diet, but that’s not true. Meat can be eaten on this diet, but the consumption and frequency of it should be minimal. Most of your food supply should come from plants rather than animals. There is no hard and fast rule on the precise ratio of the amount of meat in a plant-based diet, but out of 3 meals, 2 must be plant-based. It’s perfect for those who want to try veganism but are intimidated by its meatless approach. Eating a small amount of meat along with more varied types of food is precisely what plant-based diets are.
How do I eat a whole-food, plant-based diet?
There could be a reason you’re adjusting to a plant-based diet. You might be concerned about reducing your carbon footprint or you might be seriously thinking about being healthier. Maybe you were inspired by a celebrity post on World Vegan Day. Well, the good news is that you made an excellent choice. Now let’s talk about the steps you need to take as a beginner to adopt a plant-based lifestyle.
Now that we’ve talked about the foods to cut back on, let’s talk about the foods that are essential to make this diet effective.
All kinds of fruits, i.e. apples, mango, banana, pineapple, etc.
All seasonal vegetables i.e. broccoli, carrots, potatoes, peppers, spinach, kale, tomato, etc.
Whole grains, i.e. quinoa, barley, oats, brown rice, etc.
Nuts, i.e. almonds, cashews, walnuts, etc.
Legumes, i.e. beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.
Healthy fats, i.e. olive oil, almond oil, etc.
Vegetable milk, i.e. coconut milk, almond milk, etc.
Vegetable proteins: Tofu, vegetable protein supplements, etc.
Don’t make drastic changes
To regularly follow a plant-based diet, you have to get used to it. This means not depriving yourself of meat and other processed foods. Since this is not a vegan diet, don’t treat it as such either. Continue to decrease your amount of meat until you follow the 2/3 ratio of this diet. After that, it’s up to you whether to keep it or go the vegan route.
Check out this blog post if you want to learn more about vegan living!