Plant-based diets range from consuming only plants to diets that include meat and animal products. Here are some of the many to follow:
Vegan… is at the extreme only plants end of the spectrum. Vegans eat vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains. But they exclude all foods of animal origin from their diets…this includes meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy products like milk, cheese, butter, and so on.
Vegans replace animal protein sources with other sources that are rich in this vital macronutrient. These include beans, peanuts (as in peanut butter), tofu, tree nuts, peas and other legumes and ensure vegans aren’t lacking in protein, despite rumors to the contrary.
Lacto vegetarian… is a diet that excludes foods of animal origin, with the exception of dairy products such as milk, butter, cheese and other foods derived from animal milk.
Ovo vegetarian… is another diet that excludes foods of animal origin (meat, fish and dairy) except that it contains eggs.
Lacto-Ovo vegetarian… is a vegetarian diet that includes dairy products and eggs, but excludes meat and fish.
pescetarian… is an ovo-lacto-vegetarian diet that also includes fish.
Flexitarian or semi-vegetarian… include a variety of diets based on a vegetarian diet. It is a plant-based diet that may also include small amounts of red meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy.
As you can see, these plant-based diets vary from exclusively plant-based diets to diets that include some or all animal products, but in limited amounts.
What are the benefits of a plant-based diet?
When you make plants the mainstay of your diet, you can:
Lower your blood sugar levels and prevent or slow the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D).
lower your blood pressure
reduce the burden on your kidneys (by avoiding or reducing animal proteins in your diet)
help you lose weight, and
Preventing heart disease and stroke (by reducing the build-up of plaque in your blood vessels).
… in addition to many other advantages.
This claim is supported by many recent studies. For example:
A study of nearly 100,000 members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which promotes a vegetarian diet, conducted by Loma Linda University in California, found that vegetarians had lower rates of T2D than non-vegetarians. The study also found that vegetarians tend to be a healthier weight, which may explain why fewer of them are diabetic.
A 72-week study published by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine examined the differences between type 2 diabetics who ate a low-fat, vegan diet and those who followed a moderate-carbohydrate diet. The researchers found that there was a significant reduction in HbA1C and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels among the vegans. A low HbA1C level indicates that you are managing your T2D well.
Two ongoing long-term studies from the Harvard School of Public Health found that among 150,000 health care providers, those who ate an extra 1/2 serving of red meat daily for four years had a 50% greater risk of developing T2D.
Recent research suggests that inflammation in the body plays a role in the development of T2D. T2D manifests as insulin resistance. These two related problems appear to decrease with a plant-based diet.
However, this positive effect may not only be due to the vegetarian diet.
Most vegetarians are very health conscious (which is probably why they become vegetarians in the first place). But they also tend to practice other healthy behaviors, such as B. Exercising, not smoking, not being a couch potato, and getting plenty of sleep.
The type of lifestyle that vegetarians typically follow contributes tremendously to their overall health and helps them control their diabetes and other health issues.
However, meat-free diets, or diets that restrict the amount of animal products (of all kinds) you eat, contain oodles of beneficial nutrients. These diets are high in fiber, phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals. In addition, the fats they contain are healthy…plant-based foods are low in saturated fat and dietary cholesterol.
How to switch to a plant-based diet
Some people who need to reduce the amount of animal products in their diet are reluctant to make the effort that they think the transition will involve. This is a mistake.
Here are a few pointers…
Don’t switch them all at once. Instead, gradually reduce your consumption of animal products.
Prepare yourself mentally by thinking of animal products as a side dish or garnish, rather than the main ingredient on your plate.
At the beginning of the transition, try to stick to one meatless day per week.
Create a collection of meat-restricted recipes.
Get to know beans. Many varieties provide just as much protein as meat and fish. Check out all the different ways you can make bean-based meals, prepare them in batches to stock up, and freeze them.
Learn about whole grains like barley, quinoa, brown rice, and couscous. Cook them in portions and put them in the fridge or freeze them.
Limit your carbohydrate intake by using peanut butter, egg whites (which are at least 90% protein), low-fat or fat-free cheese, or other fillers.
keep it simple Opt for things like veggie burritos stuffed with beans and green peppers.
protein…some people worry that if they switch to a plant-based diet, they’ll end up deficient in protein. But this fear is completely unfounded.
Many plant-based foods are high in protein…beans (the best source), nuts, grains, and vegetables. Learn about the macronutrients (protein, fats, and carbohydrates) in the plants you love to eat. You will find tons of verified facts on here http://nutritionaldata.self.com/.
note… the advice to mix different plant foods at each meal to get complete protein (ie protein that contains all the essential amino acids) is now old hat and no longer valid.
umami… is one of the five basic tastes (alongside sweetness, acidity, bitterness and saltiness). The name is a Japanese word for “pleasantly savory taste” and has been described as having a pleasant broth-like or meaty taste.
Umami is one of the reasons why people like meat so much or why, according to some people, we are meat addicts.
However, meat isn’t the only source of umami… this flavor can also be found in roasted vegetables, mushrooms, avocado, nuts, soy sauce and cheese. It’s also found in breast milk, which explains its appeal.
Including non-animal foods in your diet that contain umami will make it easier for you to switch to a plant-based diet.
additions… when switching to a plant-based diet, you must be aware that your diet may be lacking in micronutrients such as vitamins B12 and D, omega-3 fatty acids, iron and zinc.
Your body can make small amounts of vitamin B12, but not nearly enough for your needs, and the only external source of this vitamin is meat. All omega-3 fats must be obtained from outside the body, and the main source is fish (although some plants contain tiny amounts).
Therefore, daily intake of dietary supplements is highly recommended. Here’s what I take:
(2) B12 (4 mcg) in a separate tablet
(3) Calcium (400 mg) plus vitamin D (2.5 mcg) together in a separate tablet
(4) High-dose cod liver oil capsule with vitamins D and E, in a separate capsule.
I challenge you to do the same.
Thanks to Paul D Kennedy