Plant-based diets have seen a tremendous global surge in popularity for numerous reasons. To ensure adequate intake of essential proteins and minerals, an assessment should be conducted of their nutritional requirements.
Plant-based milk alternatives are water-soluble extracts of cereals (oat, rice), pseudocereals (quinoa, amaranth) or legumes such as pea, lentil and lupine. Sometimes they’re fortified with calcium and vitamin D as well.
1. Meatless Mondays
Meatless Mondays provide another way for those attempting to live healthier lifestyles to manage meat consumption without completely forgoing it.
Meatless Mondays is an international movement which encourages individuals to cut meat from their diet on one day of every week, beginning on Monday. Established by marketing professional Sid Lerner in 2003 and run as a non-profit initiative by The Monday Campaigns with support from Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, this campaign encourages everyone from vegans and meat eaters alike to go meat free!
Reducing our carbon footprint requires replacing meat-dominated meals with ones featuring beans, legumes, vegetables, whole grains and plant-based proteins such as nuts seeds or tofu – something the average American can easily do by switching over to plant-based proteins from nuts seeds or tofu sources like nuts. A recent study found both health-focused messaging as well as environmental messages to be equally effective at driving behavior change.
2. Vegan Diets
Veganism is the strictest form of plant-based eating and excludes any foods containing meat, fish or dairy. Veganism has numerous health benefits that support heart health, prevent certain cancers and may improve mental wellness.
Vegan diets that focus on whole, unprocessed foods can provide all of the essential vitamins and minerals your body requires to thrive. Unfortunately, some vegans rely on highly processed imitation meats, frozen dinners or desserts like Oreo cookies and nondairy ice cream which could thwart overall health goals.
Gradually transition to a vegan diet by gradually eliminating four-legged animals, then two-legged creatures, eggs and dairy foods from your diet. Fill your pantry with nutritious staples such as brown rice, quinoa and beans so as to feel full and satisfied without reverting back into old habits or falling off the wagon.
3. Vegetarian Diets
Studies suggest that vegetarianism can be highly beneficial to health. Studies indicate that vegetarians have lower risks of obesity and chronic illnesses like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers than nonvegetarians do.
An emphasis on plant-based foods could also significantly reduce environmental impact. Producing one kilogram of beef requires 100 times more land than producing its equivalent in beans or peas.
However, when going meatless it is essential to plan a balanced diet. Without proper planning a vegetarian diet can become deficient in key nutrients like protein, iron, B12 vitamin, calcium zinc and omega 3 fatty acids which may necessitate supplementation to ensure adequate intake.[1, 3]
4. Flexitarian Diets
One plant-based diet making waves these days is the flexitarian eating plan, which is an appealing hybrid between vegetarian and vegan eating styles, but permits occasional meat consumption.
Experts advise filling your plate with plant-based foods like tofu, quinoa, produce and whole grains in order to meet recommended amounts of calories, protein, vitamins minerals and other nutrients such as iron. Plants high in iron like beans lentils and leafy green vegetables provide ample sources for this essential nutrient.
Dieting with mostly plant-based foods is another effective way to manage weight and keep it off in the long run, provided you meet your caloric goals. Give our personalized weight loss program a try now to kick-start weight loss for good!
5. Lacto-Ovo Diets
More people are opting to cut back their meat and dairy consumption for health, environmental or ethical reasons; however, a well-planned lacto-ovo vegetarian diet can still provide all of the protein, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids required for optimal wellbeing.
Lacto-ovo vegetarianism (also referred to as ovo-lacto vegetarianism) is a form of vegetarianism that excludes meat and poultry while including eggs and dairy products as options. Some popular examples are bean-based burritos, veggie fajitas/nachos/quesadillas/tamales/rice dishes/huevos rancheros/guacamole etc – great transition foods to help transition smoothly into plant-based living! These meals also don’t contain wheat; instead these meals can be prepared using seitan or tofu instead.