Plant based eating has become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes can provide numerous health benefits, including a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. However, it’s important to remember that just because a food is plant based doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy.
One of the key principles of a HEALTHY PLANT BASED DIET is to focus on whole, unprocessed foods, similar to the traditional “USDA MY PLATE” concept (except eliminating animal products from your diet). These include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. These foods are nutrient-dense and provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Some examples of healthy plant based foods include:
- Leafy greens: kale, spinach, broccoli
- Berries: blueberries, raspberries, blackberries
- Whole grains: quinoa, brown rice, oats
- Legumes: lentils, chickpeas, black beans
- Nuts and seeds: almonds, chia seeds, flaxseed
While these foods are great choices for a healthy plant based diet, it’s important to be mindful of other plant based foods that are less healthy. These include processed foods, such as vegan junk food and snacks, and foods that are high in added sugars and saturated fats. Some examples of less healthy plant-based foods include:
- Vegan junk food: vegan burgers, hot dogs, and processed cheese
- Snacks: vegan cookies, cakes, and ice creams
- Plant-based milk alternatives: almond milk, soy milk, and coconut milk that can be high in added sugars.
- Processed foods: frozen vegan meals and veggie burgers.
Becoming a plant based eater doesn’t mean you have to give up eating these types of foods because you can find a vegan SWAP FOR ALMOST ANY FOOD TYPE. You just have to decide for yourself how healthy you choose to be. Eating a plant based diet can be a healthy way to eat, but it’s important to make smart choices if health is what you are concerned with. By focusing on whole, unprocessed foods and being mindful of less healthy options, you can enjoy a delicious and nutritious plant-based diet.