Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet
The plant-based eating trend is here to stay as more and more people give this healthy lifestyle a try. There are many benefits to plant-based eating, including animal welfare and the environment, but it’s also extremely beneficial to maintaining optimal health. Eating a plant-based diet can help lower cholesterol levels, reduce body fat and overall weight, maintain blood sugar, prevent many different kinds of diseases, and contribute to a longer life. Many people also experience higher energy levels on a plant-based diet and may even be able to eventually reduce certain medications as their health improves.
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There are many great reasons to switch to plant-based eating, but if you’ve been eating meat, eggs, and dairy your whole life, the changes may seem daunting at first. However, transitioning to plant-based eating doesn’t have to be difficult. To help you get started, we’ve gathered some of our favorite tips:
- Consider plant-based foods you already enjoy. Make a list of meals you like that are plant-based, such as veggie stir fry, pasta primavera, salads, chili, and vegetable soups. Don’t forget about fresh fruits and veggies as snacks or cooked vegetable side dishes. Include more of these meals and snacks in your diet, and build from this list, adding more variety as you go.
- Start small. If cutting out meat, egg, and dairy products all at once seems too hard, consider making small, gradual changes. Start by following Meatless Mondays or making one meal a day completely plant-based. Breakfast can be a good starting point, with lots of healthy options. Start making portion sizes smaller for meats, and add in larger portions of veggie side dishes and salads.
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- Look for alternatives for animal-based products. The market is filled with faux-meats and vegan cheeses, and these products can help with transition periods and cravings for favorite foods. Just be aware that some of these faux products can also be highly processed and high in fats or sodium. Use them as special treats and be sure to read labels to find the best options. Substitute healthy vegetables in favorite recipes, like a grilled portobello instead of a burger or lentils and beans instead of taco meat or Bolognese.
- Stock up on healthy foods. Eating a plant-based diet and making healthier choices is easier when you are surrounded with good options. Keep your kitchen stocked with fresh fruits and veggies for snacking. Shop for plant-based milks, tofu, beans, and whole grains.
- Explore new foods and have fun. Look up recipes online for ideas, explore different cuisines, and try fruits and vegetables you have never tried before. Have fun with this new lifestyle. You may find that you have more food choices than ever before!
Take charge of your health with plant-based eating, healthy choices, and prioritizing exercise.
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