There is a growing trend that cannot be denied in today’s world: more and more people are turning away from processed food and towards eating real, wholesome food that is good for them. One way of eating that has seen a boom in popularity is the plant-based diet, which encourages people to forego meat and dairy products in favour of vegetables and fruit. While the approach is relatively new, the diet has existed in some form since the dawn of time. People are turning to it because they know that it is better for their bodies and the environment in which we live. Here is a beginner’s guide to discovering the world of plant-based diets and how you can benefit from them.
The Rise In Popularity
You may be surprised to learn that the demand for vegan food products and restaurants has increased by 15% in the last year alone.
The rise in popularity is not just limited to restaurants and food delivery services. Consumers are also turning to the convenience of plant-based diets when shopping online. Popular vegan websites like Mymeatworld and Plantbased.org report a 30% rise in traffic between April and June of this year compared to the same period last year. If current trends continue, the demand for plant-based diets may soon outstrip the demand for conventional diets.
Research has shown that following a plant-based diet can improve a person’s health and wellbeing. Some of the many benefits that have been attributed to the diet include:
- A lower risk of heart disease
- Fewer strokes
- A longer life
- Weight loss
- A boost to the immune system
- Reduced inflammation
- More energy
- Increased productivity
If you are interested in adopting a plant-based diet, there are many health benefits to be had. However, you must keep in mind that it is not a diet that is recommended for everyone. People with hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer should follow conventional diets instead.
Reducing our reliance on meat and dairy products has been shown to be good for the environment. Animals that are reared and slaughtered for food produce significant amounts of greenhouse gases as they breathe. The gases that they emit are harmful to both people and animals. Plants do not emit greenhouse gases as they grow and need little space to produce food. Plus, they can be recycled and reused.
A 2018 analysis of livestock production in the UK found that it had a larger environmental footprint than previously thought. The study, conducted by the Vegan Society, calculated that the production of food from animals was responsible for the deaths of more than 16 million birds annually. The report also stated that intensive livestock farming was to blame for significant amounts of water pollution.
Eating plants is not cruel to animals. It can be healthful for them and better for the environment. Consider how much happier and healthier your dog would be if fed on a vegan diet instead of meat and fish. He might no longer have skin problems or digestive issues.
What Are The Main Types Of Plants-Based Diets?
There are several different types of plants-based diets, each with its pros and cons. The main types are:
- Artificial food
- A Vegan diet that includes fish
- A Vegan diet that includes dairy products
- A Vegan diet that includes eggs
- A Vegan diet that includes both fish and dairy products
- A Vegan diet that excludes all types of food product
A 2019 survey from Australia’s Bart Simpson group revealed that almost half of the respondents were trying to eat healthier as part of a busy lifestyle. More than 40% of the respondents were trying to lose weight while another 26% were trying to maintain their current weight. Only 4% were trying to gain weight. The most popular way of eating healthier was via a vegan diet (21%), followed by an algae diet (15%), a gluten free diet (14%), and a vegetarian diet (11%).
The dietary guidelines that I give my patients are always different depending on what type of diet they follow. If someone follows a vegan diet, for example, I don’t recommend that they increase their consumption of dairy products or eggs. However, if someone is on a lacto-ovo diet, then I’d advise them to try and include more eggs and dairy products in their diet.
When someone reduces their meat intake, the first thing that tends to go missing from their diet is vitamin B12. This is because most commercial milk products and some plant-based alternatives contain vitamin B12 as a source of nutrition. In fact, many plants-based foods require a person to be veggie or vegan in order to get the nutrients that they contain.
Which Type Of Plant-Based Diet Is Best For You?
This question is quite difficult to answer because it depends on your objectives and the type of lifestyle that you want to lead. One of the main things that you need to keep in mind is how much you want to change with respect to the way that you eat. If you are just looking for a way to improve your health, then you may want to consider veganism. This way of eating encourages you to eliminate all animal products from your diet. It essentially prohibits you from eating food that has been grown, raised, or harvested from an animal. This may be the simplest way to go about it and it makes it much easier to follow because there is no need to think about what else to avoid. For instance, you won’t be eating dairy products after all, so there is no longer any need to avoid them. Your bones will thank you for cutting out these products.
If, however, you want to change your entire diet and want to see how this impacts your health, then you may want to try to go vegan or vegetarian. This means that you will eat only plants and products that are derived from plants. Some people experience a great deal of difficulty when trying to go vegan or vegetarian, especially if it’s been a while since they last ate that way. This is because they do not consume products that they are not familiar with or have been used to. The most popular way of going vegan is by starting with vegan foods that you know and love, introducing new foods one at a time. Alternatively, you could do a trial and error approach and reduce the amount of animal products in your diet. One of the benefits of this strategy is that it can potentially lead to significant weight loss as you cut out the foods that you know that you don’t need. Weight loss is one of the main things that people who are on a plant-based diet try to achieve. You’ll be surprised at how many diets that I encounter where the number one reason for going on the diet is to lose weight.
If you are interested in trying a plant-based diet, then I strongly recommend that you educate yourself about it first. There are many different types of diets available and it can be quite overwhelming to decide which one is best for you. Take your time and do some research before committing. This way, you will be better positioned to make a more informed decision and will have a clearer sense of what you’re looking for.