Plant-based eating consists of primarily consuming foods that are grown. But eating plant-based does not mean that you can’t eat meat or dairy. There are a variety of plant-based eating plans and some do include a limited amount of eggs, meats, and seafood. It is important to pick which one works best for your lifestyle.
Is eating plant-based healthier? Two main types of plant-based meal plans are the Mediterranean and vegetarian options. Both have been heavily researched and show that they can lower the risk of developing coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and increased longevity. Plant-based eating can offer all the necessary nutrition however, some vegans may need to add a supplement (specifically vitamin B12) to ensure they receive all the nutrients required.
If you are interested in bringing plant-based meals into your daily routine, here are some tips to help you get started.
- Pick the plan that works best for you.
- Semi-vegetarian or flexitarian includes eggs, dairy foods, and occasionally meat, poultry, ﬁsh, and seafood.
- Pescatarian includes eggs, dairy foods, ﬁsh, and seafood, but no meat or poultry.
- Vegetarian (sometimes referred to as lacto-ovo vegetarian) includes eggs and dairy foods, but no meat, poultry, ﬁsh, or seafood.
- Vegan includes no animal foods.
- Start small – Start by picking one plant-based meal each week such as Meatless Monday.
- Change the way you think about meat – Instead of making meat the centerpiece of your plate, use it as a garnish or a side.
- Enjoy fruits & vegetables – There are so many varieties of fruits and vegetables, find what you like. If you don’t like a certain fruit or vegetables, don’t eat it. Next time you visit the grocery store, try something new!
- Start your day with whole grains – Adding whole grains into your morning routine will fill you up and provide you with nutrients to get you through the day. Add some nuts or fruit for some added flavor.