It’s common to see new diet trends come and go. People always seem to jump on what’s trendy, but then after a while it loses its charm. This isn’t the case with plant-based food diets. They are actually gaining steam as time goes on. This is likely because of two very important reasons. Plant-based food diets are good for your body and good for the earth.
What Is a Plant-Based Food Diet?
As the name suggests, this diet consists of mainly foods derived from plants. Obviously, this includes vegetables and fruits, but it may also contain foods made from plants. There are companies, like Hampton Creek Foods, that specialize in creating food products that are plant based. Hampton is known for creating mayo, cookie dough, and dressings that are made from plant ingredients yet taste like those made from traditional ingredients. In addition to plants, you can also eat lean meats and low-fat dairy products. Organic products are best and meats should come from grass fed animals.
Better For Your Body
By eating a plant-based diet, you are going to reap many rewards when it comes to your health and overall well-being. Obviously, reducing the amount of chemicals and additives you are eating is beneficial and getting more nutrients in your diet is great. Beyond that, though, you are also going to be lowering the number of calories you eat and the amount of fat. All of this adds up to removing harmful things and adding in good things that will help your body.
Specifically, you are going to lower your risks for certain diseases. Diabetes, for example, is often caused by diet. If you are eating healthy foods that are packed with nutrients while also limiting fat intake, you may be able to prevent diabetes. If you already have the disease, you may notice it is much easier to control. A plant-based diet also aids in lowering blood pressure, reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease, and lowering cholesterol levels.
You’ll also see many positive side effects. Digestion will be easier, and you’ll likely stop suffering from constipation. You may see improvements in vision or eye conditions. Your skin will be healthier and less prone to break outs, wrinkles, and other issues.
Better For the Environment
Eating plant-based foods is not just good for your body. It is also good for the environment. The true costs of producing all those packaged foods is pretty high. A plant-based diet means you are eating more whole foods and foods in their natural state that require no processing. You are able to find foods locally or even grow them yourself. All of this adds up to far less energy use and pollution from creating the foods you are eating.
How to Make the Change
Making the change from how you eat now to a plant-based diet should be done slowly so you can adjust. It is never really a good idea to completely change the way you eat all at once because chances aren’t too good that you will stick with it. If this is something you really want to do and a change to which you are committed, then making slow changes will work best.
Start with replacing a couple meals a few days a week with plant-based foods. Phase out fatty meats and increase the amount of vegetables and fruit. It can help to look for alternative foods to replace those you will be removing from your diet. For example, try to use beans in place of meat and even as a substitute for butter and fats. Hummus can be spread on toast in lieu of butter and beans can be used as a base for tacos instead of hamburger.
Add in plant-based foods wherever you can. Instead of grabbing a milkshake, try a smoothie made from fresh fruits and vegetables. Trade chips and dip for carrot sticks and hummus.
Make sure that you choose your foods carefully. Look for organic, free-range meats that are low-fat cuts. Buy locally as much as possible. The best thing you can do is start your own garden. Not only will this allow you to have fresh vegetables, beans, and maybe even fruit but it also will save you a lot of money and is wonderfully convenient.
Switching to a plant-based diet makes sense for your health and the health of the planet. It is a good way to avoid all the bad things that are packed into packaged and processed food items while also lowering your calorie and fat intake.