including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes, but with few or no animal products. Use of the phrase has changed over time, and examples can be found of the phrase “plant-based diet” being used to refer to vegan diets, which contain no food from animal sources, to vegetarian diets which include eggs and dairy but no meat, and to diets with varying amounts of animal-based foods, such as semi-vegetarian diets which contain small amounts of meat.
What are plant foods?
- Tubers (e.g. potatoes)
- Leafy Greens
- Nuts (e.g. cashews)
- Seeds (e.g. sesame seeds)
- Sea Vegetables (e.g. seaweed)
- Legumes (e.g. beans, peanuts)
What does plant-based diet mean?
Someone following a plant-based diet would eat only plant foods (or mostly plant foods).
One should generally assume (unless the person tells you otherwise) that they only eat plants and never eat animal-based foods or products such as meat, bone, eggs, milk, butter, gelatin, etc.
Most people who identify as eating a plant-based diet also avoid eating plant fragments and focus on eating the whole plant or a minimally processed version of it.
What are the benefits?
The health benefits are well-established. Eating more plants and cutting back on meat is most generally always a good thing. Research tells us consuming a plant-based diet can help reduce our risk of developing chronic conditions like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
When beginning a plant-based diet, make sure that your diet is well-planned and doesn’t rely too much on processed foods. Plant foods such as nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, legumes, and vegetable oils are packed with nutrition (heart-healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, fibers, protein, water), but you must still be careful when beginning your plant-based diet.
Certain micronutrients, including vitamin B12, vitamin D3, and iron exist only in animal products like dairy, eggs, and meat. That means that one often needs to supplement them. Another option might be to incorporate small amounts of animal products into your diet while still reaping the benefits of eating a mostly plant-based diet.
Is it right for you?
Successful plant-based eaters often have different goals in mind. Some eat a plant-based diet for ethical reasons while others for moral reasons and still others for weight loss reasons.
Adding more plants to your diet tends to be more realistic than cutting out all animal products. That being said, for those who feel strongly about skipping out on animal products, being vegan can be just as healthy as eating plant-based, and possibly more emotionally rewarding.
If you decide to try a plant based diet, I recommend that you start slowly, regardless of which eating style you might want to try. You can change your eating habits over the course of several weeks, months or even years. You might even want to start with one or two plant-based meals a week and continue increasing them until you are comfortable.
How Can I Get More Fruits and Vegetables Into My Diet?
Busy lifestyles and the abundance of fast food leads many to ask: “How do I get more fruits and vegetables into my diet?” I recommend Juice Plus+. Juice Plus+ adds the nutrition of 30 fruits, vegetables and grains to your diet.
What is Juice Plus+?
Juice Plus+ products are made from the juice powder concentrates and oils from 48 different fruits, vegetables and grains. While Juice Plus+ isn’t a substitute for eating fruits and vegetables, our whole food based products support a healthy diet by offering a much wider variety of naturally occurring vitamins, along with antioxidants and phytonutrients found in fruits and vegetables. Every Juice Plus+ product is made with quality ingredients grown farm fresh, providing the natural nutrients your body needs.
How Can I Order Juice Plus+?
Here’s to your health,
Donna Lang Stoffel