More people than ever are following a plant-based diet, whether completely, or more flexibly. Most people have a reason for reducing their meat and animal product intake. In previous decades it was typically because they loved animals, and didn’t like the idea of eating them, but now people are making the choice because of the environmental and health benefits too. Whatever your reason, there’s certainly more than one benefit, and a plant-based diet can be a great way to improve your health, your quality of life, and the world around you.
Following a plant-based diet doesn’t necessarily mean becoming a vegan. There are a few different options. For some people, it’s a lifestyle choice. They follow a totally vegan diet with no animal products and also avoid non-food animal products such as leather. Some people prefer a vegetarian diet. While they completely give up meat, and their diet is largely plant-based, they do still enjoy other animal products, such as dairy, in their diet.
More and more people, however, are choosing to enjoy plant-based foods more flexibly. They might enjoy meat-free Mondays or try to cut meat and animal products as much as possible, but not completely. This is typically known as being a flexitarian and can still have plenty of benefits.
One of the biggest benefits to your diet is that you’ll try far more new flavors, meals, and textures if you only eat plant-based foods. You have to think outside of the box when you cut meat, making sure you get the right nutrients, enough calories, and protein, but also a nice variation to your diet. You’ll learn to enjoy vegan meals when you eat out and even use a vegan caterer for events. Native Foods are a fantastic vegan caterer with a huge range of options, for example.
Red meat and dairy are often very high in fat, and many non-vegan treats are full of sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. Vegan foods are typically lower in fat, higher in fiber, and contain more healthy sugars. A plant-based diet also means you eat far fewer processed foods. All of this makes it much easier to lose weight and to stick to a healthy weight afterward.
Eating a plant-based diet, especially if you shop for locally grown produce can reduce your carbon footprint massively. Even cutting out meat one day a week can make a difference.
A higher intake of vitamins and minerals, unsaturated fats, fiber, and grains, and a lower intake of saturated fat, refined sugar, and processed foods can work together to reduce your blood pressure and improve your heart health. Over time, this, coupled with reduced risks of obesity and the fact that people who follow a plant-based diet tend to be more health-conscious, reduces your risk of some cancers, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, and several other conditions.
Moving to a plant-based diet, at least some of the time can have a hugely positive effect on your health and wellbeing, both now and in the future, and it probably isn’t as hard as you think.
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