Plant-Based Diets For Better Health
The Insider's Guide To Plant-Based Diets
Sorry, there's no magic bullet. You gotta eat healthy and live healthy to be healthy and look healthy. End of story.
Morgan Spurlock ‧ American documentary filmmaker, producer, screenwriter and playwright
First, let me start by saying that plant-based diets are not right for everyone and that you have to work at it in order for the diet to be beneficial. A plant-based diet comprises only plant foods, including fruit, vegetables, grains, and legumes, and avoids meat, dairy, and eggs.
Plant-based foods are full of fibre, rich in vitamins and minerals, free of cholesterol, and low in calories and saturated fat. Getting all the necessary nutrients while eating just plants is possible, but it's more difficult than doing so with a diet that contains meat as well.
You must plan what you eat regularly and really focus on getting the nutrients in. Many vegetarians even rely on some supplements to get all the nutrients. With that said, there are some real benefits to a plant-based diet, and they could be worth the extra work.
Lower Risk Of Heart Disease
There is evidence that eating a plant-based diet may lower your risk of heart disease. In a combined analysis done on over 76,000 people, vegetarians were 25% less likely to die from heart disease than meat-eaters were.
That means switching over to plants could improve the health of your heart. This is only the case if you include a bunch of high-fibre whole grains and legumes in your diet, two things that you likely must meet your protein needs as a vegetarian. Plant-based diets have been proven to prevent and reverse heart disease, improve cholesterol, and lower blood pressure.
FACT: In a combined analysis done on over 76,000 people, vegetarians were 25% less likely to die from heart disease than meat-eaters were.
Lower Cancer Risk
Any risk of cancer is a bad thing, and statistically, vegetarians are less likely to develop some forms of cancer than omnivores are. This is likely because of the increase in fruits and vegetables in the diet.
Studies have shown that eating more fruits and vegetables can decrease your risk of cancer, but only slightly. So while becoming a vegetarian will help lower your risk of getting cancer, it won't be a really dramatic change. Avoiding animal products and high-fat foods and eating plant-based foods can lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer.
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Lower Blood Pressure
By increasing the level of potassium in your diet, you can decrease your blood pressure. This is a pretty standard change that most vegetarians make automatically when making the switch, and it can cause fewer heart complications later on.
This is, of course, a change that you could simply make by adding more potassium-rich foods into your diet while continuing to eat meat, but you are much less likely to do so while eating meat.
TIP: It's harder to get calories through vegetables and fruits. This means it's harder to gain weight as well. That's why most vegetarians are thinner.
Plant-Based Diets And Weight Loss
It's harder to get calories through vegetables and fruits. This means it's harder to gain weight as well. That's why most vegetarians are thinner. If you move away from meat and other animal products, you'll likely lose some weight as a result, and for some people that alone is a good enough excuse to make the jump.
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FAQ About Plant-Based Diets
Both meal plans have made headlines for their health benefits in recent years and while they are similar, there are some key differences: Vegan diets eliminate all animal products, while plant-based diets do not necessarily eliminate animal products, but focus on eating mostly plants, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc.
A healthy diet should focus on plant foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. If animal products are eaten, we should eat them in smaller quantities compared to plant foods.
You may lower your risk of heart disease. Plant-based diets have also been found to help regulate blood sugar, which can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Vegetarian diets can promote weight loss because they focus on nutrient-dense, low-calorie foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and soy. Vegan diets go even further and cut out calorie-rich foods like cheese. But being vegetarian doesn't automatically mean consuming fewer calories.