Plant-Based Diets

Plant-Based Diets

The term “plant-based diet” refers to different eating patterns, from vegan (no animal products at all) to the various types of vegetarian diets. Research has shown that people who choose to eat predominantly plant-based diets have lower rates of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.

Plant-based diets have positive effects on people who may already be affected by these diet-related diseases. There is evidence that shows switching to this eating pattern can reduce their effects or even reverse them.

Eating plant foods is beneficial beyond disease prevention. High in fiber, they can help to moderate regularity and keep you feeling fuller for a longer period of time. The fiber also supports good gut health by helping the good bacteria (probiotics) flourish and possibly alleviate gastrointestinal problems.

If you’re interested in shifting your eating pattern towards plant-based, but aren’t quite ready to completely eliminate some of your favorite foods, don’t worry: the semi-vegetarian diet, also called “flexitarian,” focuses on plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains but occasionally includes meat, fish and dairy. It’s easier to do than you may think.

How to start

  1. Add more fruits and vegetables to your day by including a fruit or veggie in every meal and snack. Add sliced cucumbers to crackers, or have a Breakfast Fruit Wrap.
  2. Re-think your plate and make half of it produce. Bulk up recipes with additional vegetables, like in this Pineapple Pork Stir Fry. Trade out half of the ground meat for minced mushrooms or tofu in meatloaf.
  3. Switch one day to meatless. Choosing one day each week to be meat-free eases the transition into meat-free recipes. Our Caribbean Casserole is a quick, one pot dish that’s a good source of protein and is high in fiber.

For more information on plant-based eating, check out these great websites!

MyPlate: Small Changes

Meatless Mondays

Dining Out for Vegetarians