Wikipedia’s definition of a plant-based diet is “a diet consisting mostly or entirely of foods derived from plants, including vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits, and with few or no animal products.”
Here are 7 quick facts about plant-based diets that you may want to know.
1.Plant-based diets exclude all products of animal origin: These include meat, fish, poultry, dairy, eggs and honey.
2. Plant-based diets are nutritionally suitable for all of us: Plant-based diets, when well-planned, are recognized by the largest network of dieticians in the world (The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics) as being healthful and nutritionally adequate for people of all ages and lifestyles. When carried out correctly, anyone can get all of the nutrients they need from eating exclusively plant-based foods.
3. Plant-based diets can offer financial flexibility: Animal protein products can be expensive. In most cases, a plant-based diet can be quite a bit less expensive than meat-rich diets. If you’re financially restricted or have a family to feed, this can help meet the monthly budget. It can also help you to have more money available for healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, which are important for maintaining general and long-term health, regardless of the type of food pattern you follow.
4.Plant-based diets are high in fibre: All things being equal, switching from animal to plant-based protein would increase daily fibre intake. Since many of us don’t consume enough fibre, this is an important point to consider.
5. Plant-based diets may help prevent chronic disease: It is becoming well accepted that a thoroughly implemented plant-based diet can be associated with lower rates of heart disease, obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.
6. Plant-based diets are less environmentally intensive: The amount of resources (land, water and food) and emissions (greenhouse gases) required to raise animals for milk or meat production far surpasses that which is required to raise plant-based sources of protein. Peta have famously said that “One person who goes vegan can save approximately 219,000 gallons of water a year.” After hearing that it’s not hard to imagine that a plant-based diet is more environmentally sustainable than a conventional meat-rich diet. Animal agriculture places a large burden on the health of our planet. Cowspiracy, a well known documentary, contends that you cannot reasonably identify yourself as an environmentalist if you consume animal products.
7. Plant-based diets should be planned with care: The benefits of a plant-based diet can be realized so long as it is implemented with care and planning. Animal products are a rich source of protein, no one can deny this, and offer a variety of valuable nutrients like calcium, zinc, vitamin D, vitamin B12, iron and omega-3 fatty acids. This helpful article from PETA offers a few guidelines to ensure a plant-based diet provides all of the important nutrients needed.