Features

Why Are Plant-Based Foods Healthier?

Briea Dorsey

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Multiple Plant-based Brand, Photographs: Vicky Wasik

Ever wonder what plant-based foods really mean and how it will affect your life? Many say plant-based or natural agric products focus on foods primarily from plants. This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans. It doesn’t mean that you are vegetarian or vegan and never eat meat or dairy. 

Forks Over Knives, a “plant-based living” website founder, Brian Wendel, said “going plant-based is often for people who are very enthusiastic about the health angle”  of eating mainly whole plant foods. Rather, you are respectively choosing more of your foods from plant sources. The terms “vegan” and “plant-based” are often replaceable to use, but there’s a growing effort to define just what it means to continue with a plant-based lifestyle.

Plant-based products have made a big impact on today’s society and brought new products to towns and cities all across the world. Many popular restaurants and markets are offering a variety of plant-based foods. The Impossible Burger was brought to use by Burger King where the burger looks like a bloody meaty burger, but only contains vegetables and beans. Other restaurants and food companies  started to see that people were enjoying the impossible meat and wanted to get involved. 

Food markets such as Whole Foods and Sprouts have made it easier to find more organic types of foods. Whole Foods was founded in September, 1980 and still stands today. Meanwhile Sprout made its way in the beginning of 2018. These grocery stores feature foods without artificial preservatives, flavors, sweeteners, and hydrogenated fats. The chain store has a wide range of food options that are all beneficial to one’s health. Today’s society is primarily based on the internet, so it makes it easier for one to purchase food online which can be delivered within 2 to 3 days. 

Mediterranean and Vegetarian Diets

There are a variety of plant-based diets that centers around eating much healthier foods that do not contain harming animals, such as the mediterranean and vegetarian diet. 

Forming a Mediterranean diet has a foundation of plant-based foods, but also includes fish, poultry, eggs, cheese, yogurt a few times a week, and sometimes meats and sweets. This diet has been shown in clinical studies to reduce the risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, depression, and many cancerous diseases.

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Vegetarian vs. Pescatarian, image from fishyvegetarian.com

 A vegetarian diet has many titles that can be chosen from that best fits a diet such as being a flexitarian which includes eggs, dairy foods, and occasionally meat, poultry, fish, and seafood. The pescitarian diet includes eggs, dairy foods, fish, and seafood, but no meat or poultry. Vegetarian includes eggs and dairy foods, but no meat, poultry, fish, or seafood. Lastly, a Vegan diet includes no animal foods. Starting a vegetarian diet comes with better health, such as lower risk of developing coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and increased longevity. Becoming a vegetarian can also provide a lot of great health benefits like including a lower risk of developing coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and increased longevity.

How to Start a Plant-Based Diet

“Focus on the big changes like switching from meat, milk, and eggs to whole plant foods. Such changes dramatically improve the nutritional composition of your diet, so this is where you will find the most noticeable and measurable improvements in your health”, said Brian Wendel, founder of Forks Over Knives. When starting on a plant-based diet, every step should exclude meaty foods. Eat lots of vegetables, fill most of the plate with colorful and disable vegetables.

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Plant-Based Burgers, Provided by TIME Inc.

Try eating more vegetables as a snack with hummus, salsa, or guacamole. Second, change to no meat and purchase plant-based meats that will taste and look the same as real meat. Cook a vegetarian meal at least one or four nights a week. Build these meals around beans, whole, fruits,vegetables, and sometimes seafoods. Lastly, try to replace fatty foods with healthier fats such as olive oil, olives, nuts, seeds, and avocados. Overall, becoming vegetarian helps your health in its entirety and will continue to influence future generations to do the same. 

Plant-based foods will continue to promote great health benefits and will also be recommended by many health care providers, especially for people who suffer from allergic reactions to hormones in meat or who have high blood pressure or even celiac disease. 

 

 

Categories: Features, Health, science

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