While many other traditional diets build their dinner plate around meat, the plant based diet does the same around vegetables of all sorts. But do not limit yourself to thinking greens only, for while these may be fairly healthy, they do not have the caloric density and therefore the needed energy, to keep us going for the rest of the day.
Instead the plant based diet will choose from a variety of foods like starchy vegetables, tubers, whole grains, legumes and beans to create wonderful meal ideas.
Fruits and greens make complementary foods that are added into meals regularly but are not the primary source of energy on the plate.
The plant based diet also disagrees with the idea of eating one particular food for one nutrient.
For instance, we have been led to believe that we need to consume more meat for protein, calcium for dairy and fish for omega3 fatty acids. So in this pursuit, people have been steered towards more meat consumption with the result that they are consuming more meat than necessary. The same can be said of dairy and other animal based foods.
However, the danger lies in neglecting the amounts of dietary cholesterol, the acidic effect, and the synthetic ingredients that go in these foods. All of these have long term negative effects on the human body.
Remember that no food is a single nutrient and that whole foods in the plant based diet have a number of important nutrients in them. These whole, plant based foods contain all the essential nutrients in proportions more consistent with our needs than animal based foods.
Turning to a plant based diet can help prevent many of the high risk diseases that are so typically and usually associated with eating more animal products. It has been observed that type 2 diabetes, for instance, is entirely preventable by changing poor dietary patterns and engaging in a healthier lifestyle.
Areas of the world where plant based are more common show a considerably lower rate for chronic diseases as compared to others where animal based diets are more popular.
Start adding more whole foods to your diet today. Try meatless Mondays!