I would like to introduce to you the Plant Based Lifestyle which is also known as Vegetarian or Vegan Diets.
As always, I will give you the information that you need to support this way of eating so that you can decide for yourself if this is the right lifestyle for you.
Alternatively, you might decide that it might be good to use 1 or 2 days per week when you only eat plant-based food to give your body a change or break from meat and fish.
Plant based diets have really increased in popularity with so many celebrities and sports people now changing their eating habits and getting great results.
Currently it is estimated that 5.7% of the population in the UK are vegetarian. This amounts to about 3 Million people who do not eat meat and consider themselves to be vegetarian or vegan.
So, what does this really mean?
What Is A Plant Based Diet?
A plant-based diet is food eaten purely from plants as the source of energy. This comes in the form of Vegetables, Fruit, Grains, Legumes, Pulses, Nuts, and meat substitutes such as soy products.
Vegetarians include dairy and eggs in their diet.
Vegans cut out any derived animal products such as honey, dairy, eggs, and gelatin.
What you do have to be so careful of when you eat plant-based food is that this way of eating can become quite unhealthy if you are not careful.
Processed food is still bad for you so still needs to be avoided. This includes
Refined Sugars – Table sugar, syrups
White Flour – Bread, Pasta, Biscuits, Cakes, chips, crackers
Vegetable Fats – Spreads, Butters,
For most people, a plant-based diet does not just affect the way you eat but also affects the products you choose to use such as vegan friendly shampoos, soaps and clothing.
Most people who turn to plant-based foods also do so in the knowledge that they are helping greater issues surrounding our food manufacturing production and cruelty to animals.
How Is A Plant-Based Diet Good For Weight Loss?
The biggest reason why a plant-based diet helps people to lose weight is since a lot of high calorie foods are omitted from your eating plan.
In the main people on a plant-based diet will consume a lot more fibre which is both filling and low in calories.
Generally, when food keeps you fuller for longer you will feel less hungry and consume a lot less food and calories. This results in the weight loss that everyone craves.
The American Journal of Nutrition found that most people who eat a plant-based diet tend to have less body weights.
Other Health Benefits
There is a lot of evidence to show that a healthy plant-based diet is so good for you and can even extend your lifespan.
Other health benefits include the following
Lower Risk of Chronic Disease
Chronic diseases such as Type ll Diabetes and some cancers are less likely due to a plant-based diet. The reason behind this is due in part to the fact that it improves our cell response to insulin and decreasing insulin resistance.
Plant based food provides plenty of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which can help protect our cells from cancer.
Increased Heart Health
Research suggests that diets containing a large amount of plant foods can lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of heart disease.
Beans, vegetables, oats, and barley are rich in soluble fibre, which can help lower cholesterol.
Fruit and vegetables are rich in cardio protective antioxidants.
Monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds have been linked with good heart health.
Improved Eye Health
Lutein and Zeaxanthin are antioxidants that you find predominantly in leafy vegetables and colorful fruits.
These antioxidants are vital for good eye health and can help lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
Healthy Digestive System
We now have a greater understanding about the importance of good gut health not just for the digestive system and colon but also for our immunity and mental health.
Plant based foods are packed with both soluble and insoluble fibre which supports a healthy digestive system and maintains regularity.
Non digestible fibre such as prebiotics nourish the good gut bacteria and are fermented by the bacteria in the colon which contributes to a healthy digestive system.
Promotes Skin Health
Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can really help to give you flawless looking skin.
Eating more fruit and vegetables and colour in your salads every day can really help to give you young looking, healthy skin.
Eating fresh plant-based foods can really increase the energy that you have for your everyday life.
So many sports personalities such as Lewis Hamilton and Novak Djokovich have both stated that the plant-based diets, they both consume have given them more energy, decreased fat, and increased muscle mass.
Promotes Psychological Health
Studies have proved that nutrients found in whole grains, leafy vegetables and citrus fruits have a positive effect on our psychological well being.
All of these are predominant in a plant-based diet.
The biggest myth surrounding a host of healthy diets is about the lack of certain macro nutrients, minerals, and vitamins.
The highlight with a plant-based diet that people feel is that you are missing Proteins, Omega 3, and Vitamin B12.
You can definitely find protein and omega 3’s in certain nuts, seeds, soybeans, quinoa and pulses.
Vitamin B12 can be found in some yeast extract products such as Marmite and Seaweed.
It is important that you mix up your meals as much as possible so that you can eat all the nutrients that your body needs.
This is true in most healthy diets as variety and colour is key and crucial to enhanced benefits for your body.
It is so important to find the diet is right for your lifestyle and sometimes it is good to mix things up for your body.
Just with other diets a plant-based diet can also be used in conjunction with intermittent fasting or a keto eating plan.
If you are unsure why not start with cutting down on your red meat and then chicken and fish on a gradual basis. Starting to increase your level of fruits and vegetables is good for all of us to do. As you start to increase your plant food consumption you might find you can go to 1 or 2 days per week without any meat or fish products. Then slowly you might it possible to move to 7 days.
As always, I would recommend trying for 30 days to see how you get on. Veganuary is becoming increasingly popular with a lot of people especially as they feel that January is a good time to detox the body after Christmas.
Hopefully, I have managed to give you the answers of what a plant-based diet is and how to benefit.
However, if you still have any other questions or concerns then please feel free to comment or ask me below.