People are switching to a plant-based diet due to the multitude of health benefits associated with this type of diet. This trend has been gaining momentum for the past few years as part of eco-friendly or green living due to the increasing awareness of people regarding climate change. Other reasons include lifestyle changes and healthy eating. Two popular subdivisions under this are vegan and vegetarian diets. Also, you must know that following this diet means focusing on eating more plant-based food products and less animal-based food.
Working Of Plant-Based Diets
A plant-based diet usually includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, etc. There are different types of it like vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, fruitarian, flexitarian, and others like the Mediterranean diet even though it includes minor portions of dairy, fish, and poultry. In general, it reduces or avoids animal-based food products and byproducts like honey, cheese, etc. The goal is to eat a balanced diet to reduce the risk of deficiency diseases which many vegans and vegetarians are susceptible to.
What To Eat In A Plant-Based Diet?
The primary focus is to eat whole food plant-based diet that is low on animal-based food and avoid highly refined plant-based foods. Avoid beef, eggs, food additives, added sugars, white rice, white flour, and other refined grains, dairy products, and seafood.
Pros And Cons Of Plant-Based Diet
Whole food plant-based diet has a wide variety of health benefits compared to animal-based food products because they are less energy-dense. But they have higher amounts of dietary fiber and other essential nutrients. This helps with better weight management and hence is useful for reducing weight for obese people. Also, it improves gut health which in turn improves immunity because both are linked. Listed below are the major pros of a plant-based diet.
- Better cardiovascular health
- Lower body mass index (BMI)
- Better weight management
- Reduced risk of developing diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders.
Compared to a regular diet, you must eat more variety of plant-based food to get the ideal supply of amino acids. The bioavailability of plant-based iron is comparatively less than the iron obtained from animal-based food. Finally, it is difficult to get enough vitamin B12 from a plant-based diet.
- Certain types of proteins are absent in plant based food because plant protein is not complete.
- Detailed meal planning is required for vegans to avoid the risk of certain nutrient deficiencies.
- Nutrient deficiencies like calcium, iron, and vitamin B12 are possible.
We hope that the details sherd above will help you in selecting the right plant-based diet that suits your needs.