Health : Plant-based diet: what is it and why try it?
There are plenty of diets out there and they all claim to be good for you. Yet doctors and dietitians all agree that diets favor the use of whole, fresh ingredients and avoid processed foods that are best for health and well-being. And that's what the plant and whole food diet does. This diet and type of diet focuses on unprocessed foods and especially plant-based foods and is effective in stimulating weight loss and improving general health. In this article you will therefore find everything you need to know about the plant-based diet including its health benefits, what foods to eat and you will also find a sample menu for a week.
Plant and whole food diet can help you lose weight
So what is the herbal diet?
There is no clear definition of what constitutes a plant-based and whole-food diet. It’s not even a diet, but a way of life and a way of eating. This diet can vary a lot and it depends on how close you are to excluding animal foods from your daily menu. These are still the basic principles of the herbal diet:
– Emphasize whole foods with minimal processing
-Limit or avoid animal products
-Focus on plants including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts
-Exclude refined foods like added sugars, white flour and processed fats
– Pay close attention to the quality of what you eat and try to buy locally sourced, organic foods if possible
Plant-based, whole-food diet is great for health
For these reasons, this diet is often confused with vegetarian and vegan diets. But even if these diets are similar, it's still not the same thing. People who follow vegan diets refrain from consuming animal products including dairy, meat, poultry, seafood, eggs and honey. Vegetarians exclude all meat from their menu but can eat eggs, seafood and dairy products.
The plant-based diet, on the other hand, is much more flexible. Those who follow it generally consume plants, but a minimum quantity of animal products is not entirely prohibited. A person on a diet may not eat animal products at all, while another may afford a small amount of eggs, poultry, seafood, meat or dairy products. So, to sum up the plant-based diet, favor plant products while minimizing animal products and processed products.
The herbal diet can help you lose weight and improve your health
Overweight is a global problem. Fortunately, making changes in your diet and lifestyle can have lasting positive effects on health and weight. Many scientific studies have shown that herbal diets are beneficial for weight loss. The high fiber content in this type of diet with the exclusion of processed foods is a winning combination to get rid of excess weight.
Vegetable meals can be very delicious as well as being healthy
A review of 12 scientific studies that included more than 1,100 people found that people who followed a plant-based diet lost about 2kg more for 18 weeks than people who had non-vegetarian diets.
Adopting a healthy plant-based diet can also help maintain a healthy weight in the long term. A scientific study of 65 overweight adults found that those who were on a diet lost more weight than the other controlled group and were able to maintain a weight loss of approximately 4kg for a period of one year.
On top of that, simply avoiding processed foods that are not allowed in the plant-based diet like sugary drinks, sweets and refined grains is a powerful tool for weight loss. To sum up: herbal and whole food diets are very effective for weight loss. They can also help maintain a healthy weight for the long term.
The plant-based diet is also very beneficial for certain health problems
Dieting herbal and whole foods is not only good for losing weight, but it can also lower the risk of certain health conditions and relieve their symptoms.
Seeds and nuts are also present in the plant-based diet
One of the most well-known positive effects of herbal diets is the fact that these diets are very good for heart health. The quality and type of food included in the diet is still very important.
A large scientific study of more than 200,000 people found that those who followed a healthy plant-based menu rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes had a much lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease. in comparison with people who do not follow this type of diet.
Seeds and greenery: a delicious combination
However, herbal but unhealthy diets that include sugary drinks, fruit juices and refined grains were at an increased risk of having heart problems. So, consuming the right ingredients is really crucial for heart health when dieting, and that’s why eating a plant-based diet is really the best choice.
Scientific studies have suggested that a plant-based diet may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. A study of over 69,000 people found that vegetarian diets were associated with a reduced risk of gastrointestinal cancer, especially for vegetarians who eat dairy products and eggs. Another large study of over 77,000 people found that those who follow a vegetarian diet have a 22 percent lower risk of developing colorectal cancer than those who do not. Vegetarians who eat fish have better protection from colorectal cancer with a 43 percent lower risk compared to people who are not vegetarians.
Fruits and vegetables are very good for heart health
Some scientific studies suggest that diets high in fruits and vegetables can help slow and prevent cognitive decline like Alzheimer's disease in the elderly. Plant-based diets contain more plant compounds and antioxidants which have been shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease and reverse cognitive deficits.
In many scientific studies, increased consumption of fruits and vegetables is strongly linked to the reduction in cognitive decline. A review of nine scientific studies of more than 31,000 people found that consuming more fruits and vegetables leads to a more than 20 percent reduction in the risk of developing dementia and cognitive impairment.
Following an herbal diet can also be effective in controlling and reducing the risk of developing diabetes. A scientific study of more than 200,000 people found that those who eat a healthy plant-based diet have a 34 percent reduced risk compared to those who eat a diet that is not healthy and that is not herbal.
Another study found that plant diets were associated with a 50 percent reduction in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to non-vegetarians. In addition to these, these diets have been proven to be beneficial in improving the control of blood sugar in people with diabetes. So, eating a plant and whole food diet can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, cognitive decline and diabetes.
Plant-based diet is also good for the planet
Going on a plant-based diet is not only good for your health – it can also protect the environment. People who follow a plant-based diet tend to leave less borrowing from the environment. Having healthy eating habits can help reduce green gas emissions, water consumption and land used for factory farming, which are important factors in global warming and environmental degradation.
A review of 63 scientific studies has shown that the diets that are best for the environment are vegetarian and vegan diets. The study showed a 70 percent reduction in green gas emissions and a 50 percent decrease in water and industrial farmland consumption. In addition to this, reducing the number of animal products in one's diet and buying locally can help the local economy and reduce dependence on factory farming as an unsustainable method of food production.
Plant-based diets accentuate local foods and are better for the environment than diets that are the basis of mass production.
Foods to Eat When You Follow the Plant-Based Diet
Eggs for breakfast, from meat to dinner: animal products are the staple food for most people around the world. But if you go on a vegetable diet, your meals should be concentrated around plant foods. If you choose to consume animal products, you should eat them in small quantities paying close attention to their quality. Foods like dairy, eggs, poultry, meat, and seafood should be complementary, not the basis of your menu. Here's what you can eat:
- Fruits: red fruits, citrus, pears, peaches, pineapple, bananas etc.
- Vegetables: kale, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, asparagus, peppers etc.
- Starchy foods: potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut etc.
- Whole grains: brown rice, oats, quinoa, brown rice pasta, barley etc.
- Healthy fats: avocados, olive oil, coconut oil etc.
- Legumes: Peas, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, black beans etc.
- Seeds, nuts and nut butters: almonds, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, natural peanut butter etc.
- Herbal milks: coconut milk, almond milk etc.
- Spices, herbs and seasoning: Basil, rosemary, Indian saffron, curry, black pepper, salt etc.
- Sauces: salsa, mustard, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice etc.
- Vegetable proteins: tofu, tempeh, sources based on vegetable protein without added sugars or artificial ingredients
- Drinks: coffee, tea, sparkling water
If you have decided to supplement your menu with animal products, then opt for groceries or buy them from local farms.
- Eggs: organic if possible
- Poultry: free range, organic if possible
- Beef and pork: grazed or grass-fed animals if possible
- Seafood: caught in the wild if possible
- Dairy products: organic dairy products from grazed animals if possible
The plant-based diet should be focused on plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds. If you consume animal products, these products must be eaten in small quantities in comparison with vegetable products.
Foods to Avoid and Minimize in the Plant-Based Diet
The plant-based diet is a way of eating that focuses on consuming food in its most natural form. This means that processed foods are prohibited. When shopping, go for fresh food and if you buy food with labels, choose food with as few ingredients as possible inside.
Foods to avoid:
-Fast food: fries, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets etc.
-Added sugars and sweeteners: table sugar, sodas, juice, pastries, cookies, candies, sweet tea, sweet cereals etc.
– Refined grains: white rice, white pasta, white bread, baguettes etc.
-Packaged foods: crisps, crakers, cereal bars, frozen etc.
– Processed animal products: bacon, cold meats, sausages, etc.
Foods to minimize:
Some healthy animal foods may be present in the plant-based diet, but the following products should be minimized: beef, pork, lamb, game meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products, seafood.
Example of a simple menu for a week:
Switching to a plant and whole food diet should not be a challenge in itself. The menu for the week that we offer can help you succeed. The menu includes a small number of animal products, but you can avoid them if you want.
-Morning: oatmeal with coconut milk with red fruits, coconut and nuts
-Mid: large salad with fresh vegetables, peas, avocados, pumpkin seeds and goat cheese
-Evening: Butternut curry
-Morning: whole yogurt with strawberries, sugar-free coconut and pumpkin seeds
– Midday: chili without meat
-Evening: sweet potatoes and tacos with black beans
-Morning: smoothie made with unsweetened coconut milk, red fruits, peanut butter and a vegetable protein powder
-Midi: Hummus and a vegetable wrap
-Evening: squash noodles with pesto and chicken balls
-Morning: savory with oatmeal and avocado, salsa and black beans
-Evening: grilled fish with sweet potatoes and broccoli
Morning: tofu and vegetable sinter
Noon: large salad with grilled shrimp
Evening: grilled portobello fajitas
Morning: blackberries, cabbage, peanut butter and a coconut protein smoothie
Noon: vegetables, avocados and sushi with brown rice and seaweed salad
Evening: eggplant lasagna with cheese and a large green salad
Morning: omelet with eggs and vegetables
Noon: grilled vegetables with a bowl of tahini quinoa
Evening: black bean burgers served with a large salad with avocados
As you can see, the idea of a plant and whole food diet is to use the least amount of animal products. Many people who follow this type of diet consume more or less animal products depending on their specific dietary needs and preferences. So you can enjoy a lot of delicious meals when you follow the herbal diet and the menu on offer can only help you get started. Enjoy your meal !
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