If you want to reap some of the health benefits that may result from a more restrictive plan such as veganism (such as lower levels of inflammation, for example), good news: you don't have to give up all your favorite foods
Vegetable eating, a way of food that focuses on plants but offers room for some animal products is here to save the day. This trendy eating plan is like a more flexible version of veganism and vegetarianism – which means that you probably hold more because you don't have to cut out all food groups.
If you are curious about the health benefits of plant-based food and want to know more, read on to find out if the eating philosophy can work for you.
What is a vegetable diet?
Part of the appeal of the vegetable diet is that it is not really a diet. At least not in the traditional sense, because there are no set rules. The idea is that you concentrate your diet on plants, and there is nothing that & # 39; forbidden & # 39; is.
"If you ask five people what vegetable food is, you can get five different answers," says Amy Gorin, a registered dietitian based in New York City. "I consider plant food a diet that contains a significant number of plants, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and whole grains throughout the day," Gorin said.
So while you can reduce your consumption of meat, seafood, eggs and dairy products, you don't necessarily have to cut them out. But if you want to follow a plant-based diet, the goal is to ensure that most of what you eat is derived from plants. That can mean different things to different people – for example, you have a plate full of vegetables and grains and only a small portion of meat with most meals, or maybe you only eat food derived from animals two days a week and only eat vegetable food on the other five days.
"A meal can contain meat, poultry or seafood and also contain a good amount of plants – such as a salmon salad – and still be vegetable," said Gorin. A vegetable diet is not about what you can and cannot eat; it is more about increasing your daily intake of plants and displacing other food groups with plant-derived options.
What are the benefits?
Vegetable diets are linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and lowered blood pressure. They can also be useful for weight loss – but you still need to take macronutrients into account to achieve your weight loss goals.
"Eating more plants such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds [and] whole grains helps you to absorb more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can lower your risk of chronic diseases," says Gorin.
Adding more plant-based foods is a great way to reduce inflammation, which has also been shown to be important to health. Inflammation is a natural reaction in the body, but when it becomes chronic and widespread, it can cause health problems. Many foods are linked to higher levels of inflammation, but the biggest offenders are refined and processed foods such as white bread, pastries, fried foods, processed meats, and processed fats such as margarine and shortening.
Another reason why many people opt for a plant-based diet is that it can be more sustainable. The food system is a major factor in climate change and many experts agree that choosing a more plant-based lifestyle can help reduce the impact.
Following a vegetable diet
Because a vegetable diet is flexible in how you can do it, it's up to you to decide what works best for your lifestyle. That said, here are some tips to get started if you're not sure where to start.
Start with baby steps
If switching to a plant-based diet feels intimidating, there is nothing wrong with starting small. For example, if you are currently eating meat several times a day, start cutting back to once or twice a day. And then add more plants to your meal so that you don't feel robbed. If you really miss meat, you can try one of the many meatless options on the market, including products that mimic the taste and texture of beef, chicken, pork, and fish.
Make vegetables the focus of your meals
When you plan your meals, it is common for people to think of steak, chicken or fish first in the main course. Try reformulating how you think about meals and instead plan vegetables and other vegetable options first. In this way the plants are central and the animal products look more like silk.
Eat the rainbow
Try to take a wide variety of colors on your plate every day. This way you get a wide range of fruits and vegetables, which also means that you get more variety in nutrients. And if something is more colorful or attractive, it is more fun to eat. Don't be afraid to experiment with new fruits or vegetables that you have never tried before.
It is a common misconception that meat is the only protein source. And although a plant-based diet allows some meat, eggs, or other animal products, the goal is to reduce the frequency that you rely on as a protein source.
It is still important to ensure that you get enough protein, so if you reduce animal products, you must replace them with other forms of protein such as beans, nuts or seeds (and unprocessed sources of unprocessed foods are the best ).
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified health care professional for any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.