You’ve heard the buzzword before, and maybe you’ve even watched the numerous documentaries promoting healthy eating and wholesome foods. If you’re left wondering, what is a plant-based diet, then you’re not alone. Amidst recent lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, many Americans are experimenting with new recipes and diets and wondering how to eat healthy as they navigate new routines.
Eating healthy can mean a lot of different things. For some, it’s a matter of balance and moderation. For others, it’s incorporating more fruits and veggies into an existing diet. But if you’re looking to improve your dietary habits and consume healthy, wholesome food, then a plant-based diet might be best for you.
A Plant-Based Diet
Understanding a plant-based diet is relatively simple: eat foods primarily derived from plants. When searching for plant-based diet recipes, you’ll find thousands of sources that break down the ingredients you should consume. These include grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, and legumes.
Is a Plant-Based Diet Vegan?
Although this diet does focus mostly on plants and wholesome food sources, it’s not necessarily vegetarian or vegan. Many followers still consume animal products, albeit in small quantities. Plant-based diets have been around for millennia, but they recently grew in popularity thanks to binge-worthy documentaries highlighting damage to the body when eating too many animal products. But, interestingly, it has become a trendy rebrand of the vegan diet.
You can eat meat, cheese, and other animal products while also following this diet. However, its popularity has created a resurgence of vegan alternatives, such as plant-derived milk, sausages, and veggie burgers. Even fast-food chains are jumping on board. Further, a quick search for plant-based diet recipes will show you numerous ways to make homemade alternatives to cheeses, yogurt, butter, and more.
Is it Healthy?
If the trend has perked your interest and you’re starting to wonder, what is a plant-based diet, then you should consider whether or not it promotes healthy eating. Like any main-stream diet, determining how to eat healthy with a plant focus takes a little work.
Firstly, ditch the processed goods. It’s tempting to buy all the alternatives to your favorites, but those products aren’t always healthy. Plant-based diet recipes that are true to the trend will focus mainly on plants and non-processed foods. So, yes, consuming more fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts in place of animal products and processed goods will certainly prove healthy for you. However, stick with wholesome foods as much as possible. The more of those foods you consume, the healthier the diet is.