A plant-based diet has numerous advantages. Clearly, the world is buzzing about the many ways that plants can help prevent heart disease, help your metabolism and so on.
However, there are so many different diets out there that it becomes difficult to decide which diet is best for you. Are all plant-based diets the same?
Here we shall discuss the many aspects of plant-based diet along with their benefits for your body.
We shall also explore some of the many questions relating to these diets that confuse a number of people who opt for it.
What does a plant-based diet include?
Clearly, there are a number of different plant-based diets circulating the internet at the moment. All of these diets emphasize a certain trend or the consumption of a certain group of plants.
Many of these diets have immense benefits for the heart. Diets including the Mediterranean diet, Dash diet, and the Mind diet were closely followed and evaluated.
Not surprisingly, they showed a lot of benefits for the body, especially for the heart. Speaking from a broad perspective, the diets contain lots of fiber, are rich in a lot of vitamins and minerals.
These work together to optimize the working condition of the body and improve the lipid profile, getting rid of all the bad cholesterol from the body.
However, at the same time, only the nutrient content is not enough. You also need to pay particular attention to where you are getting these nutrients.
For instance, many diets forbid white rice and bread. They are plants as well and you would think it is okay to include them in your diet. On the contrary, these plant foods are processed and stripped of their nutrient content.
This is why they are pure carbohydrates resulting in rapid elevation of your blood glucose rather than the healthier sustained-release foods. The processed carbohydrates, in turn, stimulate hunger and cause excessive ingestion of food which causes weight gain.
Moving on, you also need to understand that just ingesting fruit juices is not enough. You have to eat the fruity in order to get the necessary nutrients in the right amounts. Fruit juices contain loads of sugar.
Plus, when you drink a fruit juice you simply miss out on all the fiber and the vitamins contained in the plant. Furthermore, ingesting commercial juices is even less healthy.
This is because they contain numerous additives and sugars. Ultimately the juice contains nothing more than the flavor of the plant while the nourishing nutrients are lost.
The right portions
Just like any other diet, plant-based diets should contain the appropriate portions of all the necessary nutrients. A guide represented by the Harvard Health eating plate describes the right amount of nutrients that you need to intake on a daily basis.
It shows that the largest portion of your diet is comprised of vegetables. However, potatoes are excluded from the mix as they are simply solidified portions of starch!
Then comes equal amounts of whole grains and healthy protein. Whole grains can include brown bread, brown rice. You can eat their white alternatives but it is best to limit them or even exclude them from your diet altogether.
Along with all of these nutrients, it is essential that you ingest a healthy intake of water which keeps your system working at its best. In addition to this, you also need to consume healthy oils such as olive instead of conventional cooking oil.
These oils contain the unsaturated fats which are healthier than the saturated fats present in conventional oils.
Where do plant diets get protein?
The impending question for many plant-eaters is the protein. Where do they get it? After all, it is an essential component of your diet and can’t be replaced.
Well, you may be surprised to hear but a number of plant foods contain proteins as well.
Studies exploring the different habits of people have determined a considerably higher risk of heart disease in people who consume animal-based protein.
This can clearly be linked to the associated fat in the products as well as the other nutrients that such people are likely to consume.
On the other hand, people who consumed a plant-based diet were relatively protected against heart diseases. Moreover, the research found that people who made healthy plant-eating choices were leaner and considerably more active than others.
Another study also compared the disease occurrence between two groups of people. One group which preferred eating good plants and healthy items.
The other group had a reduced intake of animal products but stuck to eating refined plant products such as white rice and bread. As expected, the disease occurrence was higher in the bad plant diet as compared to the good plant diet.
This clearly showed that choosing a plant diet is not sufficient. You also need to choose the right plants to furnish this diet.
Proteins are found in abundant quantities in lentils, beans, and seeds. They are also found in rich quantities in nuts as well as quinoa.
Seeds such as sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and sesame contain loads of protein as well. Including adequate quantities of these foods in your plant diet will help fulfill your protein needs.
The different types of plant-based diets
Now that you know the different aspects of the plant diets you need to consider which diet is right for you. Not surprisingly, there are a number of different diets to choose from.
Let us first describe the various diets in detail, so that you understand the concept behind each diet. This will help you understand the real purpose of the diet better. In addition, it will also help you chose a diet that is best for you.
Many people get confused between vegetarian and vegan diets. Vegetarian people are those people who don’t eat meat. They also prefer not to eat seafood.
However, you find that there is a lot of diversity among vegetarians. Some eat eggs while others consider it as a meat product. Other people drink milk whereas some think that it is a meat product as well.
There are different divisions in the vegetarian community. For instance, a person who eats eggs or drinks milk is often referred to as a Lacto-Ovo. However, the division doesn’t end here.
There are many branches. Some vegetarians go to the extent of cutting out meat from their diet. However, they often include every other food item in it.
Vegan people have strict rules. It is different from vegetarian in the sense that it is a lifestyle rather than just a diet. Vegan people don’t eat any meat products.
They don’t eat eggs, drink milk or consume seafood either. Moreover, they don’t use any products made from animals either. So, leather, fur or reptile skin products are a big no for them.
Many people also eliminate gelatin and try to use product lines that are cruelty-free. Their motto is simple. They don’t want to consume or use any item that involves harming or using animals.
This is when a vegan person chooses to consume honey. Then this person becomes a began as they broke the code of not using any item that involves animals in the process.
This diet involves introducing a 40% share of carbohydrates in your diet as well as 30% fat and 30% protein. This helps people control and manipulate their insulin levels in the long run.
This helps to produce a healthier weight loss and good control over the body weight. In this diet, experts suggest consuming whole grains, olive oil, and nuts that will help to cleanse your system and nourish it.
Raw food diet
This diet is very similar to the vegan diet. However, this diet involves consuming food proportions that consist of raw foods. At least 3 quarters of your intake is attributed to raw food.
These people also exclude all kinds of meat from their diet. Hence, it may be considered as the next step to vegan.
This is another popular diet that took the world by storm thanks to its great results. The diet involves consuming a majority of plant foods. These can include grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
For fats, the diet recommends consuming olive oil. Besides this, the diet also includes consumption of moderate quantities of cheese and yogurt.
Moreover, people can also consume some fish or chicken. They can also eat up to 4 eggs per week and have some red meat in the week as well.
The Mediterranean diet is found to have a considerable effect on lowering the risk of heart diseases. Only a third of the diet consists of fat of which the majority is unsaturated fat.
This means that the diet takes a healthier approach towards your diet and allows you to consume a variety of food while still keeping you healthy. This is the major reason behind its success.
What is the right plant-based diet for you?
Considering the many diets you may be wondering which is the right diet for you. Well, the thing is that you don’t need to cut out all of the meat from your life in order to be healthy.
Instead, you can take a more systematic approach and go about it in a stepwise manner. Jumping into a radical diet can result in crash dieting that won’t help your body at all.
Instead, you should choose the healthier food options and start including them in your daily diet. Gradually, start eliminating the wrong choices and the food that is bound to cause trouble.
The switch from a bad diet to a healthier one will take time but if you do it gradually, chances are that you will stick to the new routine rather than collapsing and falling back to the old one.
Most people don’t even need to make radical changes. All they need to do is change their white rice and white bread for whole grains.
Yes, there is a slight difference in taste but it isn’t too radical to be a problem.
Simple changes like choosing a box of oatmeal at the market or drinking plain water instead of a soft drink or a juice will help you knock out a lot of calories from your diet.
Not only this, your body will start to feel healthier and much more energized as well.
The secret to a successful plant-based diet is to begin small. This way the entire intimidating prospect of leaving a major share of the food items behind won’t seem so daunting.
Start by initiating minor changes. gradually, the different changes will start reflecting on your health which will give you the courage to do more. Gradually but surely, your entire diet will change.
Another tip to make sure that you are on track is to ensure that you are ingesting enough water. Although plant-based diets tend to contain more water than conventional diets, you still need to make an effort.
Consuming more water will supplement your diet and ensure a healthy glowing result that will leave your skin flawless.
Not only that, but it will also help improve your circulation and improve the removal of toxins from the body so that you can enjoy thorough detoxification.
All in all, switching to a plant-based diet has enormous benefits. It is great for your health, both physical and mental. Moreover, it also helps to increase awareness about the type of food you are eating and prevents a number of diseases.
At the same time, however, you also need to make sure that your diet contains an adequate amount of all nutrients. Protein is one of the major problems.
Following the tips above will help you avail the right amount of plant protein to ensure that you stay healthy and strong. This way, you can avail the benefits of the diet while voiding any drastic consequences at the same time.