Food Trend Focus: Plant-Based Diets
Plant-based diets have been gaining rapid popularity, and it’s widely discussed as a top food trend for 2018. A plant-based diet can offer numerous health benefits, but it’s important to know some basics before drastically changing your eating habits to ensure you’ll thrive in this lifestyle.
What is a plant-based diet?
While there’s no formal definition, it’s generally viewed as a diet that features plant foods at the center of the plate – foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, starches, legumes, and nuts. Animal-based foods, such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy, are limited and serve more as a compliment to a meal.
Are plant-based diets healthier?
They absolutely can be, particularly if you’re consuming more minimally-processed, nutrient-dense foods! Plants are typically higher in fiber, potassium, flavonoids, and many vitamins such as vitamin C and vitamin E. Plant-based diets have also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Are there any potential pitfalls to a plant-based diet?
Animal-based products have their own unique set of nutrients, and they tend to be higher in protein, iron, zinc, and B vitamins – particularly vitamin B12. You can find these nutrients in plant-based foods as well, but you’ll want to eat a wider variety to ensure you’re meeting your nutritional needs.
In other words, if you continually swap your steak for cauliflower, you’ll be consuming more nutrients in one area, but missing out on those nutrients that meat provides.
It would be beneficial to do a little research ahead of time to find plant-based foods you enjoy that are higher in more commonly-missed nutrients in a plant-based diet.
Not sure where to start?