What is a plant-based diet?
A plant-based diet involves eating foods derived from plants, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and plant-based meat alternatives. It is a dietary approach that excludes or reduces animal-based products, such as meat, poultry, fish, dairy, and eggs.
Plant-based meat alternatives are products that are made from plant-based ingredients but are designed to look, taste, and feel like animal-based meat products. These alternatives are usually made from plant proteins, such as soy, pea, or wheat protein, along with blends of herbs and spices.
The consumption of plant-based meat alternatives has gained popularity due to several reasons, including health, ethical, and environmental concerns. According to studies, a plant-based diet, including plant-based meat alternatives, may be associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer. Additionally, plant-based meat alternatives may have a lower environmental impact than animal-based meat, as they require fewer resources to produce.
What are the benefits of a plant-based diet?
There are several potential benefits of a plant-based diet, including:
- Reduced risk of chronic diseases: Research has shown that a plant-based diet may lower the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. This is partly due to the high fiber content of plant-based foods, which can help lower cholesterol levels and improve blood sugar control.
- Improved gut health: A plant-based diet is rich in fiber, which can promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut and improve digestive health.
- Lower environmental impact: Plant-based diets have been shown to have a lower environmental impact than diets that include a lot of animal products, as they require fewer resources to produce.
- Weight management: Plant-based diets are often lower in calories and higher in fiber than diets that include a lot of animal products. This can help with weight management and reduce the risk of obesity.
- Ethical concerns: For people who have ethical concerns about animal welfare, a plant-based diet can provide a way to avoid consuming animal products.
- Variety of nutrients: A plant-based diet can provide a wide range of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which are important for overall health and disease prevention.
A plant-based diet needs to be well-planned to ensure adequate nutrient intake, particularly for nutrients that are typically found in animal-based products, such as vitamin B12, iron, and calcium. It’s recommended that people who follow a plant-based diet work with a registered dietitian or healthcare professional to ensure that they are meeting their nutrient needs.
How to get started…
Starting a plant-based diet can be a gradual process and it’s important to approach it in a way that is sustainable and realistic for your lifestyle.
- Educate yourself: Learn about what a plant-based diet entails, including the types of foods that are included and excluded. You can also research recipes and meal plans to get ideas for meals.
- Make gradual changes: Start by incorporating more plant-based foods into your diet, such as adding more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You can also gradually reduce the amount of animal-based products that you consume and replace them with our range of plant-based meat alternatives.
- Experiment with alternatives: Try out plant-based alternatives to animal-based products, such as plant-based milk, cheese, and meat alternatives. Our clever team of chefs have created plant-based mince, chicken, steak, burgers and more. All of which are widely available from your favourite retailer. Use our store locator to find your nearest stockist.
- Plan your meals: Plan your meals ahead of time to ensure that you are getting a variety of nutrients and to prevent relying on processed or convenience foods. Our delicious plant-based recipes are the perfect, most mouth-watering place to start.
- Focus on whole foods: Incorporate plenty of whole foods into your diet, such as whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
- Get support: Joining communities or groups on social media (or in real life), or working with a registered dietitian can provide you with support and guidance as you transition to a plant-based diet.