How we choose to fuel our bodies is one of the most important decisions we make when it comes to our health. These days there are so many different types of diets that it can be hard to know what is actually healthy and what is just the latest craze. It seems like every week there is a new fad that all the celebrities are following, promising weight loss, wellbeing and beauty, only to be debunked and replaced by a new way of eating just a short time later. Despite the constantly changing trends, steadfast research shows that a plant based diet consisting primarily of “plants” can result in improved health.
A Plant based diet comes with its own set of labels. Of course, there are vegetarians: people who do not eat meat; vegans: those who do not eat meat or any meat biproducts (such as milk or eggs); then you have pescatarians: vegetarians who eat fish; and even flexitarians: vegetarians who sometimes dabble in meat-eating. However, simply cutting meat from your diet does not necessarily equate to healthy eating habits. For example, if you decide to forgo meat but your diet consists primarily of carbohydrates and processed foods instead, this does not carry the same benefits as adopting a style of plant-based eating. Vegetarians and vegans sometimes have to work even harder to be sure they are getting enough protein and other nutrients that they might be missing by forgoing certain food groups.
If the idea of becoming vegetarian feels constricting, it is important to keep in mind that eating a primarily plant based diet does not necessarily mean you must adhere to any specific label or category – you can simply choose to eat more fruits and vegetables. Experts say that most Americans are not consuming enough fruits and vegetables and advise that we all do more to include this food group in our diets. Luckily, there are many amazing resources available today that can help. From recipes books and blogs based primarily around plants to full restaurants that serve nothing but, the focus on healthy eating is everywhere. You may wish to start small, try adopting a change like “Meatless Monday” where you focus one day per week on eating more plants. It may also help to plan ahead. This might require a bit more research and effort, but many find success by prepping fresh fruits and veggies to have on hand for meals and snacks throughout the week. This makes it easier after a long work day to choose wisely. Any way you can find success in incorporating more plants into your diet can make a big difference in your wellbeing.
Once you make the transition to a diet that consists of more fruits and vegetables, you may start to notice the array of health benefits that come along with that. Eating a primarily plant based diet should help you consume fewer calories from fat and may reduce your risk of obesity. Research suggests plant-based eaters have a lower chance of battling heart-related diseases as well as diabetes. Additionally, after successfully making the change toward a more wholesome diet, you might even be inspired to shift other aspects of your life towards healthy living.