You may have heard that going vegan can be better for your health and the environment, but you might not know why. If you're looking to reduce your meat consumption or eliminate animal products altogether, going plant-based would be the perfect way to do so! In this post, we will look at what some of the benefits of going plant based are, and also answer the following questions for you:
1. What exactly does it mean to go plant-based?
2. What are the benefits of a plant-based diet?
3. How do I get into a plant-based diet?
What Is a Plant-Based Diet?
A plant-based diet is a diet that avoids meat, dairy, and other animal products. It's also known as veganism. People who choose this diet do not consume any types of meat, eggs, dairy, or even honey. Essentially, any products that come from animals or are produced by animals are not vegan. They limit their consumption of animal products to just what they can get from plants. In contrast to an omnivorous diet consuming both meats and plants, a plant-based diet is one in which you avoid all animal products. Plant-based meals are less expensive and more nutritious than those with meat! With fewer ingredients and preparation required, it is easy to be creative with your meals when following a plant-based diet without the fuss. There are a myriad of benefits to adopting a plant-based diet, including reduction in the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
The Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet
Some of the benefits of choosing a plant-based diet are that animal products are entirely eliminated. Studies have shown that animal products have been linked to many health problems such as heart disease, elevated levels of cholesterol, poor gut health, and many others. The raising of livestock and commercial fishing are also massive strains on the environment and biodiversity. So, going plant-based not only means you’re doing good for your own wellness, but also the planet’s and Her magnificent creatures’ by reducing your contribution to carbon emissions and biodiversity destruction. Most meat products today are also usually produced with lots of nasties like growth hormones in cows, antibiotics and coloring in salmon, and arsenic in chicken – with all three being amongst the most commonly consumed animals! Plant-based foods are packed with nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, making them an excellent source for health and wellness, and have been shown in many studies to contribute to reducing the risk of cancer, diabetes, and many other health issues. Fitness fanatics out there won’t be left out either; there are many plant-based foods that are rich in protein such as tempeh, quinoa, and lentils, just to name a few, and vegan protein supplements are also becoming more and more commonplace! If you're struggling with chronic health issues, adopting a plant-based diet is certainly one of the best ways to manage them, just like how many other who struggle with diseases like diabetes, IBD, or coronary artery disease have done to manage their conditions. On top of all that, a recent Oxford University study has shown that transitioning to a vegan diet from a traditional omnivorous one reduces food expenses by up to a third!
Transitioning to a Plant-Based Diet
If you're not looking for an entirely plant-based diet, you might want to consider being a flexitarian and transitioning into one during the holidays or on special occasions, and to sweeten the pot, going flexitarian also means you save up to 14% in food costs from your regular diet. You could easily make this transition by throwing in a few vegan options into your regular routine every so often. Some ways of doing it could be as simple as substituting beef mince with mushrooms for pasta night, replacing carnitas with grilled tofu and tempeh for Taco Tuesdays, or trying that meat-substitute your favorite restaurant just introduced to its menu! As you ease into these plant-based meals, you may someday just find yourself wanting to go full-time vegetarian or vegan because of how easy, cost-effective, and healthy it is.