There’s been a growing awareness of the remarkable benefits of plant-based diets for individual health and wellbeing, for the natural world and the environment.
Today, it’s easier than ever before to find all sorts of delicious plant-based recipes, ranging from things like gluten free vegan mac and cheese, to homemade spicy falafel recipes, as well as salads and soups. Many of the old stereotypes about plant-based eating — such as that it means eating dull and unpalatable food — are well and truly receding into the distant past.
At the same time, though, there are different ways of approaching a plant-based diet, with some approaches being far more beneficial than others.
I’ve had so many people asking me about this recently. So if you feel that a plant based diet may be in your future, read on for my 3 tips to get the most out of a plant based diet.
Tip #1: Eat a whole food plant-based diet
A huge amount of the evidence in favor of the profound health benefits of plant-based diets isn’t just based on excluding animal products alone, but is based on explicitly and specifically eating a “whole food plant based diet.”
Essentially, this means cooking using whole ingredients and not highly processed ones. In other words, cooking things like beans instead of fake vegan meat strips you bought at the store.
There are a huge variety of processed vegan foods out there today, but you should aim to minimize these in your plant-based diet as much as possible. For reasons ranging from unfavorable protein and amino acid profiles that mimic meat, to excessive saturated fat and salt, plant-based diets full of processed foods aren’t the way to go if you want to experience the real benefits.
This 10 Minute Detox Salad is a quick and easy plant-based meal filled with whole ingredients.
Tip #2: Eat enough
Many people, when they first switch over to a plant-based diet, make the mistake of simply not eating enough to keep them feeling satiated and happy, or to give them the energy to live an adventurous and outgoing everyday life.
Part of the reason for this is that many plant foods simply aren’t as calorie-dense as many animal foods — so by cutting animal foods out of your diet, you may need to eat more to experience the same level of satiation.
Another potential issue is that individuals switching to a plant-based diet may not initially know which foods are most calorie and nutrient dense, and may not appropriately base their diets around those foods. If you need help understanding this, I am happy to share more in my free 20 minute nutrition consultations.
Make sure to eat enough! This fancy looking Apple Nachos recipe is a great snack to tide you over to your next meal.
Tip #3: Make your diet as varied as possible
According to discoveries by gut microbiome researchers including Tim Spector, author of “The Diet Myth,” what helps promote the healthiest variety of gut microbes is eating the widest possible variety of plant foods.
We all have staple meals and foodstuffs that we enjoy, and there’s nothing wrong with basing your diet mainly around a few staples.
To really benefit from the plant-based diet as much as possible, though, aim to have as much variety as possible in your diet.
This Chocolate Superfoods Pancake recipe has a whopping SIX different plant foods in it.
A plant based diet can be a great way of eating for some people. If you’re ready to try it, keep in mind these 3 tips to get the most out of a plant based diet!
Looking for more plant based recipes? Try these:
Love these recipes? Get more plant-based dishes in my #1 Amazon New Release cookbook, Nourish Your Body: A 30 Day Healthy & Delicious Meal Plan!