This is the third installment in my three-week review of popular nutritional strategies: Mediterranean Diet, Low Carbohydrate/Ketogenic Diets, and Plant-Based Diets. This week I will focus on the basics of a Plant-Based Diet. Many people argue about which diet is the best. Each of these diets emphasize eating fresh, whole ingredients and minimizing processed foods and so are superior for overall wellness when compared to the Standard American Diet.
The Plant-Based Diet focuses on minimally processed foods, specifically plants including vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and fruits and includes little or no animal products. There are multiple known health benefits of the Plant-Based Diet, and it can also help protect the environment.
Plant-Based Diets include but are not limited to:
· Vegan: diet of vegetables, legumes, fruit, grains, nuts, and seeds, but no food from animal sources. Supplement with B12.
· Vegetarian: diet of vegetables, legumes, fruit, grains, nuts, and seeds, that may include eggs and dairy, but no meat. Subcategories include lacto-ovo (dairy and eggs), ovo (eggs), and lacto (dairy).
· Pescatarian: semi-vegetarian diet which includes eggs, dairy and seafood.
· Flexitarian: semi-vegetarian diet that includes limiting meat intake daily or being vegetarian only on certain days of the week.
The Plant-Based Diet includes:
· An abundance of whole grains, legumes, greens, roots, non-starchy vegetables, and fruits,
· Occasional nuts, seeds, higher fat plants, and dried fruits,
· Avoid or limit meat, dairy, eggs, fish,
· Avoid processed and refined foods like added sugars, white flour, and processed oil,
· If supplementing your plant-based diet with animal products, choose high quality products from stores or try to purchase from local farms.
Potential Health benefits:
· Weight loss,
· Lower risk of heart disease,
· Decreased risk of certain cancers including colon cancer,
· Slowing or prevention of cognitive decline,
· Decreased risk of diabetes and insulin resistance.
Websites providing more education and resources:
In summary, a Plant-Based Diet is a way of eating that focuses on whole plant foods and minimizes processed foods with added sugars and refined grains. This way of eating can be combined with Mediterranean or Low Carbohydrate diets. Plant-based diets have been linked to many health benefits and are also a good choice for the planet.
Next week I will introduce the coaching concept called “The Model”. Thanks for reading!
*Information in this blog is provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional, and if you choose to try anything mentioned in this blog please discuss it with your own doctor.