Nutrition experts around the world agree: a plant based diet is better for your health, your mind, AND the planet. “Plant based” can mean 100% animal product free, or it can mean a diet made up primarily of fruits, vegetables, nuts, oils, beans, and legumes, with smaller amounts of meat and dairy still incorporated. Either way, the benefits are enormous:
- It’s stellar for your health: Prominent research has shown that plant based diets can lower your blood pressure, reduce or reverse your risk of heart disease and diabetes, and reduce your risk of diabetes. A Harvard study of 110,000 people tracked over 14 years showed that people who ate 8 or more servings of fruit and vegetables a day had a 30% decreased risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
- It’s much easier to lose weight: Fruits and vegetables are naturally lower in calories, and while you do still need to watch portion sizes with your beans, nuts, and oils, it’s much more difficult to overindulge when your diet is primarily fruits and vegetables. Most Americans’ diets have fruits and vegetables as a “side dish” in meal that is focused on a large serving of meat and a large serving of carbohydrates. When going plant based, “flip” your thinking: instead, fill your plate full with fruits/vegetables, and have your other items- beans, legumes, nuts, or meat/fish as the side dish.
- Glowing skin: Eating less animal products means less saturated fats in your diet, which are notorious for clogging your pores. Also, many of the vitamins, pigments and phytochemicals in fruits and veggies contribute to healthy, glowing skin. The lycopene in tomatoes, for example, helps protect your skin from sun damage, and the vitamin C in oranges, sweet potatoes, and red/yellow bell pepper smooths wrinkles by stimulating the production of collagen.
- It’s better for the environment: Shifting away from animal-based foods could not only add up to 49% more food to the global food supply without expanding croplands (thus helping to alleviate hunger without taking more land out of use for farming), but would also significantly reduce carbon emissions and waste byproducts that end up in our oceans. Similarly, by reducing our animal-based foods consumption, we would reduce our water use by at least 50%, half as raising livestock for food accounts for 50% of our freshwater usage.
Do you want to go plant based but you’re not sure how? Have you been plant based for awhile and feel like you’re plateauing? InBalance IntheKitchen is here to help! Whether you’re looking for individualized meal plan creation, grocery shopping advice, or a full service nutrition assessment and plan, we’ve got something for you. If you’re ready to look and feel better, contact us to get started today.