A plant based diet can be any diet that consists largely out of plant foods and contains little or no animals products. This includes vegetarian, vegan, and flexitarian diets, but is not unattainable to meat-eaters.
Plant based diets hold many health benefits;
1. Reduction in animal fat is associated with lower LDL cholesterol levels, and therefore a lower risk of heart disease.
2. Increased fiber intake from increased plant foods is associated with improved gut health, less constipation, lower type two diabetes risk, reduction in cholesterol levels, and reduced colon cancer risk.
3. Vitamin content, like vitamin C for example, can strengthen the immune system to prevent viral illnesses such as colds and flu, vitamin C is also essential for wound healing. (There are so many more, these are just some examples!)
4. Antioxidants and phytochemicals, (which we don't really fully understand yet) also help reduce risk of several diseases, including various types of cancer and heart disease.
It's not only your heart that will thank you for eating more plants, the planet will too. It is estimated that the livestock industry produces about 15% of our greenhouse gasses and that the earth has to be 10+ times bigger to sustainably support all the animals we currently eat. We just cannot keep eating this amount of animal products! While reducing animal products alone will not save the planet, every little bit helps. It is also important to remember that the carbon footprint of imported food (whether animal or plant) is still bigger, so eat local!
So, if you are a meat eater, I recommend that you up your plant game a little bit, and eat plenty of local, in season veggies and fruit!
I am a registered dietitian, and this is my blog.
Please don't see it as anything other than a blog; general information, snippets that I find interesting, and recipes that I enjoy. It is not meant to replace individual healthcare from myself or other healthcare professionals.