What is a Plant-Based Diet & Tips to get started with a plant-based diet?
It’s no secret that we should be eating more fruits and vegetables, but what do we mean when we say plant-based diet? A plant-based diet is an eating pattern that focuses on foods primarily from plants. That means plenty of vegetables and fruits, as well as nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans. It doesn’t mean that you are vegetarian or vegan—it just means that most of your meals consist of plant foods.
This eating pattern can be part of an overall healthy eating plan that emphasizes nutrient-rich plant foods to help reduce the risk of chronic diseases. This article will share with you what a plant-based diet is all about and some simple tips on getting started!
What is a Plant-Based Diet?
Plant-based eating patterns focus on foods primarily from plants. This includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans. It doesn’t mean that you are vegetarian or vegan and never eat meat or dairy. Instead, you are proportionately choosing more of your foods from plant sources.
Avoid meat products, especially red meat, which is very high in saturated fats. Reducing your intake of animal fats has been shown to lower cholesterol levels, reducing risks for heart disease. Some people follow plant-based diets for ethical reasons (such as concern for animal welfare) or environmental reasons (to protect our natural resources). Others choose these eating patterns because they think it is healthier. The facts are that following a plant-based diet can offer many health benefits. The key is to ensure you get all nutrition from healthy sources and pay attention to your calories and how much you eat.
Advantages of Adopting a Plant-Based Diet
A lot of people are moving towards eating healthier. And it’s no surprise because eating healthy makes us feel better, stronger, more energetic, etc. On top of that, when we’re physically in shape, we can be mentally as well. With that being said, here are some great benefits you can get from following a plant-based diet.
A plant-based diet improves your overall health, enhances the quality of life, and reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes mellitus, obesity, and others. It may also help prevent and treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and osteoporosis (loss of bone density). Instead of that, you can get more vitamins, minerals, and fiber that will support your overall health.
Food Combinations To Increase Overall Nutritional Intake
It’s easy to focus on just one nutrient, such as protein or iron, but instead, look at how foods work together. Here are some plant-based food combinations that can help.
- Rolled oats with walnuts, banana, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Breakfast wrap: Fill a whole-wheat tortilla with scrambled egg, black beans, peppers, onions, Monterey jack cheese, and a splash of hot sauce or salsa.
- Whole-wheat English muffin topped with fresh tomato and avocado slices and blueberries.
- Greek salad: Chopped mixed greens with fresh tomato, Kalamata olives, fresh parsley, crumbled feta cheese, extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Whole-wheat pita on the side, fresh melon for dessert.
- Tomato basil soup, whole-grain crackers with tabbouleh, and an apple.
- Vegetarian pizza topped with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, broccoli, onions, peppers, and mushroom. Fresh strawberries for dessert.
- Grilled vegetable kabobs with grilled tofu and a quinoa and spinach salad.
- Whole-wheat pasta with cannellini beans and peas, and a romaine salad with cherry tomatoes, dressed with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Vegetarian chili with a spinach-orzo salad.
What needs to be to take note
People with food allergies or intolerances may need to read labels carefully to avoid ingredients such as gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, and corn. Additionally, like most processed foods, many vegan meat substitutes are high in sodium, so be sure to read labels if you watch your sodium intake. A healthy diet is based around minimally processed foods, so be cautious of long lists of ingredients filled with words you don't recognize. While many organic and non-GMO certified products are available in the market, such as the certified organic Sacha inchi's products on our website.
Let us know if you have any questions; leave them in the contact us, and we'll be happy to answer them! Stay tuned for more information about wellness and health topics here at Amazing Life Singapore. Thank you all for reading, and see you next time!