Understanding The Plant-Based Diet
A plant-based diet has been gaining popularity throughout the world. It’s not uncommon to see celebrities, influencers, and even your friends posting photos of their plant-based meals on Instagram.
However, you may be wondering what exactly is a plant-based diet. A plant-based diet refers to a type of eating plan that focuses on fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes – or in other words, plants.
A plant-based diet has many health benefits including lowering your risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. The healthy eating plan can also help increase your intake of vitamins, minerals, and fibre; all things that can often be found in abundance in plant foods.
If you’re looking for a way to improve your health by reducing animal fats and increasing the amount of fruits and veggies you eat – then read on for everything you need to know about going plant-based!
What to Eat On a Plant-Based Diet?
A plant-based diet includes a variety of plant-based foods, mostly vegetables and fruits, nuts, and legumes. What you choose to eat will vary depending on your personal health goals.
To get a better sense of the kinds of foods you’ll be eating on a plant-based diet, take a look at the following list:
Fruits – Apples, Oranges, Strawberries, Peaches, Pears, Bananas, Blueberries, Cherries, Grapes, Kiwi, Limes, Lemons, Mangoes, Oranges, Papayas, Pears, Raspberries, Rhubarb, Tomatoes, Watermelon
Vegetables – Artichokes, Asparagus, Bell peppers, Black beans, Bok choy, Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chickpeas, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Kale, Kohlrabi, Okra, Parsnips, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Radishes, Rutabaga, Scallions, Spinach, Sprouts, Squash, Sweet potatoes, Turnips, Watercress
Nuts – Almonds, Brazil nuts, Cashews, Hazelnuts, Peanuts, Pecans, Pistachios, Walnuts
Legumes – Black beans, Kidney beans, Pinto beans, Navy beans, Chickpeas, Lentils, Peas
Vegan vs. Plant-Based: What’s the Difference?
While vegan and plant-based diets share many of the same principles, they are distinct terms with unique meanings. A vegan diet is defined as a diet that avoids all animal products. This includes foods like eggs, dairy products, and honey, as well as clothing or other items that might be made with animal by-products.
A plant-based diet can be described as a vegan diet that focuses on eating more plants rather than just avoiding animal products. The most important thing to remember is that veganism and plant-based eating are not the same thing. A plant-based diet is a type of plant-based eating plan, but veganism is more than just a diet. Vegans avoid all animal products, including clothing and other items that might be made with animal by-products.
The Health Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet
There are many benefits of a plant-based diet, including reduced risk of chronic diseases, increased energy levels, and better digestion.
Let’s take a look at some of the main benefits of eating a plant-based diet.
- Reduces your risk of chronic diseases – The most obvious health benefit of eating a plant-based diet is how it can reduce your risk of chronic diseases. Eating a healthy diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables can help reduce your risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
- Helps you lose weight – Eating a plant-based diet can also help you to lose weight, especially if you replace unhealthy fats and refined carbohydrates with high fibre foods like fruits and vegetables.
- Increases your energy levels – A plant-based diet can also be an energy booster thanks to a high fibre content. Eating a lot of high fibre foods can help improve your digestion and boost your energy levels thanks to all that extra fibre.
- Better sleep – A high-fibre diet can also help you sleep better at night. Similar to having a low glycemic index (GI) diet, eating high fibre foods can help to slow down your digestion so you’re ready to hit the sheets earlier!
- Better brain health – Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables can also help you to avoid mental health issues like Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.
Going vegan can help you lose weight, suggests a new study published in the journal Nutrients.
The study of 120 participants found that those who followed a plant-based diet lost more weight than those on a standard American diet, even though both groups were calorie-restricted.
On average, those in the plant-based group lost over 5 pounds more than those in the standard American diet group after 12 weeks.
What’s more, the plant-based group also lost more body fat and inches from their waists.
How to Go Plant-Based?
If you’re interested in going plant-based, the first thing you should do is start eating more plants. You don’t have to completely eliminate animal products from your diet overnight, but try adding more fruits, vegetables, and other plant foods to your daily meals.
You can also try to avoid processed foods and refined carbohydrates by opting for whole grains, legumes, and other plant-based foods. Once you’ve started eating more plants, you can decide if you want to take the next step and make your entire diet plant-based.
Drawbacks of a Plant-Based Diet
If eating more plants is so good for you, why would anyone want to avoid them altogether? There are several drawbacks of a plant-based diet, including lower protein intake, a greater risk of B12 deficiency, and potential digestive issues. Let’s take a look at some of the potential drawbacks of a plant-based diet.
- Low protein intake – While many plant-based foods are rich in protein, it’s important to keep in mind that not all plant foods are complete proteins. This means that they lack certain essential amino acids your body needs to stay healthy.
- Risk of B12 deficiency – Another drawback of a plant-based diet is that many plant foods contain very little B12. This is important to keep in mind when trying to meet your daily nutritional needs as B12 is essential for energy and mental health.
- Digestive issues – Eating a plant-based diet can also lead to digestive issues like bloating, cramping, and other uncomfortable digestive symptoms.
A plant-based diet is a healthy way of eating that can reduce your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. However, a plant-based diet can also be rich in nutrients and protein, but it is important to get these nutrients from a variety of sources to avoid B12 deficiency. Additionally, it’s important to note that even though a plant-based diet is healthy, it’s important to watch your caloric intake to avoid gaining weight.
Understanding The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is known for its emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and seafood. It’s also known for being high in olive oil, red wine, and garlic.
What you might not know is that there’s greater variation within the Mediterranean diet than meets the eye. In fact, some experts say that what we think of as the “Mediterranean diet” isn’t really a single diet at all. Instead, it’s a collection of dietary habits found among people who live in Mediterranean regions.
These habits share similarities with other diets that have been described as “Mediterranean” in the past — but they aren’t exactly the same. This article will explain the difference between various subtypes of the Mediterranean diet as well as provide an overview of what you should know about this eating style if you want to adopt it into your own diet plan.
The Mediterranean diet is typically low in red meat, dairy, and saturated fat. It’s also known for being a diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that are associated with reduced risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and certain cancers.
While the Mediterranean diet has been studied for decades, many people still don’t really understand what it is or how it can be used as a healthy eating plan, so we’ll try to define it within this article.
The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid
The Mediterranean diet pyramid is a guide to describe what types of foods and quantities of each should be eaten daily. Imagine a pyramid divided into 3 sections, Bottom, Middle, and Top.
The foods at the bottom of the pyramid represent the largest portion of your diet and are considered core components of the Mediterranean diet. The foods at the top of the pyramid are those that are consumed in smaller quantities and are used more as flavoring agents.
BOTTOM – Legumes, vegetables, and fruits are at the bottom of the pyramid and are considered the core of the Mediterranean diet. They should be eaten in large amounts throughout the day.
MIDDLE – Grains and nuts are at the middle level of the pyramid and are healthy additions to the diet, but should be eaten in smaller portions.
TOP – Fish and dairy goods are at the top of the pyramid and should be consumed in the smallest quantities and are often used as flavorings.
Which Foods Are Included in the Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean diet is an eating plan that emphasizes plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.
It also emphasizes fish, poultry, and other lean proteins, healthy fats like olive oil, and moderate alcohol consumption.
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes eating foods that are minimally processed and have few or no added ingredients. This means that many of the foods in the Mediterranean diet are unprocessed or naturally processed foods.
- The Mediterranean diet emphasizes eating fruits and vegetables every day. In particular, you’ll want to eat lots of greens (like spinach, kale, and lettuce) and dark-coloured fruits and vegetables (like bell peppers, carrots, and sweet potatoes).
- Whole grains like barley, buckwheat, bulgur, farro, quinoa, wheat berries, and whole wheat bread are often recommended as part of the Mediterranean diet.
- Beans and legumes like black beans, chickpeas, fava beans, lentils, and soybeans are also part of Mediterranean diets because they’re high in fiber and protein.
- Nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, and pistachios are seeds like pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds are also recommended for the Mediterranean diet.
What is Not Included in the Mediterranean Diet?
Certain foods are not included in the Mediterranean diet because they are not typical food choices for people from Mediterranean regions. You’ll want to avoid processed and refined foods like white bread, white rice, and refined sugars. Other foods that are not part of the Mediterranean diet include red meat, organ meats, and full-fat dairy products like whole milk and butter.
Determining How Much You Should Eat With the Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet does not include specific portion or calorie guidelines for each day. Instead, it encourages you to eat a wide variety of foods from each of the food groups listed above.
The Mediterranean diet pyramid can be used to guide your picture of what a Mediterranean diet meal looks like. What you eat on a daily basis depends on your health and fitness goals and your current diet plan.
For example, if you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll want to eat smaller portions of each type of food. If you’re trying to gain weight (such as for athletes or bodybuilders), you’ll want to eat larger portions of each type of food.
Breaking it All Down
- The Mediterranean diet has been shown to be one of the healthiest in the world. It includes lots of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, whole grains, olive oil, and fish. Red meat, sweets, and sugary drinks are eaten less often.
- The Mediterranean diet has been linked with lower rates of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and other diseases. It may help keep your weight down, too.
- The Mediterranean diet has been around for centuries. People in Mediterranean countries have long enjoyed good health. They eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, fish, and whole grains.
- The Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional way of eating in countries like Greece and Italy. These countries have a lower rate of heart disease and other diseases than the United States.
- The Mediterranean diet is high in fiber and healthy fats. This may be one reason why it’s so healthy. Fiber helps keep us full and healthy fats may help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- The Mediterranean diet also includes plenty of omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats are thought to help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
- The Mediterranean diet is low in unhealthy fats, salt, and sugar. This may help keep our weight down and reduce the risk of heart disease and other diseases.
Summing it Up
The Mediterranean diet is known as a mostly plant-based eating plan that emphasizes healthy fats like olive oil and moderate alcohol consumption. It also includes lots of seafood and leafy greens.
The Mediterranean diet is not a specific diet plan but rather a collection of dietary habits found among people who live in Mediterranean regions. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes eating fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains while avoiding red meat and full-fat dairy products. It also includes moderate amounts of fish, poultry, and legumes like beans.
And finally, it encourages moderate alcohol consumption, regular exercise, and getting plenty of sleep. If you’re interested in adopting the Mediterranean diet, it’s important to understand the differences between the various subtypes of this diet and what foods are included in each.
Understanding The Macrobiotic Diet
The Macrobiotic diet is a dietary philosophy and lifestyle that emphasizes whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables. It also places importance on natural sweeteners, such as honey and maple syrup, as well as sea salt instead of table salt.
The word “macro” refers to foods that are generally considered healthy; these are all the things this diet revolves around. The Macrobiotic diet is centered around eating smaller quantities of food in greater frequency. Macrobiotics also recommends eating only until you are 80% full in order to prevent overeating.
It recommends eating once every three hours and from a very limited list of foods. There are various reasons why someone might choose to follow the principles of this diet, including reducing stress on the body, cleansing the liver and kidneys, losing weight or simply for its taste-enhancing properties.
What to Eat on the Macrobiotic Diet
It is worth bearing in mind that not all grains are suitable for this diet. The following foods are recommended:
- Whole grains such as brown rice, barley, buckwheat, rye, oats, wheat, and corn (not cornflakes)
- Legumes such as navy beans, pinto beans, black beans, chickpeas, and lentils
- Vegetables, preferably organic and eaten raw
- Nuts, especially almonds and walnuts
- Fruits, such as apples, pears, peaches, grapes, and strawberries
- Natural sweeteners, such- as honey, maple syrup, and molasses
- Sea salt is used in place of table salt
Foods to Avoid
When following the Macrobiotic diet, certain foods are to be avoided. These are:
- Meat, fish, and other proteins.
- Dairy products, including milk and cheese.
- Sugar, and artificial sweeteners.
- Coffee – Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn, and yams.
- Other foods, such as peanut butter, white bread, soy sauce, and cornflakes.
How to Follow a Macrobiotic Diet
When following the Macrobiotic diet, you should eat between five and seven times a day. The exact times depend on your metabolism and activity levels, but eating more frequently will help you feel more satisfied.
The recommended daily number of calories when following this diet is between 1,600 and 2,000 for women and 2,000 and 2,400 for men.
For breakfast, you might choose to eat oatmeal with fruit and nuts, a bowl of miso soup, or whole grain cereal with honey or brown rice porridge.
For lunch, you might eat a large salad with whole grains and legumes, such as quinoa with chickpeas and beans, or brown rice with vegetables and tofu.
Dinner could be brown rice, barley, and vegetables, or a large salad.
Potential Advantages of the Macrobiotic Diet
Proponents of the Macrobiotic diet claim that it can help with weight loss, as well as improve overall health. While there is no scientific evidence to support these claims, the diet does focus on eating healthy, unprocessed foods, which is likely to result in weight loss.
If you are interested in trying the Macrobiotic diet for weight loss, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, it is important to consult a qualified health or nutrition professional to create a customized meal plan that meets your specific needs.
Second, you should gradually transition to the Macrobiotic diet over time, rather than making a sudden switch. This will help your body adjust to the new way of eating.
Finally, make sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources, and avoid processed foods and sugary drinks.
Potential Disadvantages of the Macrobiotic Diet
The Macrobiotic diet is a very rigid way of eating and some feel they may place unnecessary restrictions on dieters, especially if they are following the diet on their own.
There is also a risk of nutrient deficiencies, as this diet is very restrictive and does not include any supplements. The dangers, particularly of a long-term macrobiotic diet, include the lack of protein, an excessive intake of carbohydrates, and a reduction in essential fats. Although this diet may enhance digestion and reduce toxins in the body, it may also cause negative health effects, such as anemia.
Breaking it All Down
Macrobiotics is not a specific type of diet, but rather a way of thinking about food and nutrition. The macrobiotic approach to eating is based on the principle of yin and yang, which holds that all things in the universe are in a state of balance and harmony.
- The goal of the macrobiotic diet is to create balance in the body and mind by eating foods that are in harmony with the natural world.
- There is no one-size-fits-all approach to macrobiotics, and the diet can be customized to meet the needs of each individual. However, there are a few basic principles that are common to all macrobiotic diets.
- The most important principle of macrobiotics is to eat foods that are in balance with the natural world. This means consuming a variety of whole, unprocessed foods that are locally sourced and in season.
- The macrobiotic diet also encourages eating foods that are balanced in terms of their yin and yang energy. Yin foods are cooling and calming, while yang foods are warming and energizing.
- Another key principle of macrobiotics is to eat foods that are easy to digest. This means avoiding processed foods, artificial additives, and foods that are high in fat or sugar.
- Macrobiotics also recommends eating foods in their natural state. This means avoiding processed foods and eating whole, unprocessed foods.
The Macrobiotic diet is a very strict diet and should only be attempted by those who are committed to making a lifestyle change. If you are considering following this diet, it is important to speak to a medical professional and have your diet plans tailored to your specific needs.
Implementing the Keto Diet for Weight Loss
There are many fad diets out there that claim to help you lose weight quickly. But the ketogenic diet has proven benefits for those looking to lose weight and keep it off.
We know that cutting back on carbs is a surefire way to reduce your appetite and help you achieve rapid weight loss in the first few weeks of your diet. The trick is figuring out which foods are best to eat, how much of each you should have, and how often.
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate eating plan that forces your body into a state called ketosis. It’s not an easy transformation for your body or mind, but with the right information and support network, you can do it — and reap lasting benefits.
When you’re in ketosis, your body becomes more efficient at burning fat as fuel instead of carbs. And the more fat you burn, the more weight you can lose.
On the keto diet, you will eat foods like eggs, meat, fish, non-starchy veggies, high-fat dairy, and some fruits.
You’ll avoid sugary foods, grains, starchy veggies, and anything with sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Doing this will put your body into ketosis, where it burns fat instead of carbs as its main source of energy. This process not only helps you shed unwanted pounds, but it can also reduce your risk of a variety of health issues, like diabetes, high blood pressure, and Alzheimer’s disease.
The Importance of Carb Quality
The quality of the carbohydrates you eat is critical when attempting a ketogenic diet. Stick to high-quality carbohydrates, including vegetables; fruits; whole grains and beans.
Refined carbohydrates, including soda, white bread, white rice, and processed snack foods, have little nutritional value and are less likely to be broken down into sugar. That’s why they can quickly lead to blood sugar spikes, hunger and subsequent carb cravings.
A few tips for choosing healthy carb sources:
- Choose vegetables and fruits that are higher in fiber and lower in sugar, like strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, spinach, grapefruit, and avocado.
- Choose whole grains like oats, barley, quinoa, brown rice, and buckwheat, which are rich in fiber, minerals and B vitamins.
- Choose legumes like kidney beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, lentils and edamame.
What to Eat and What to Avoid on a Keto Diet
Here’s a general guide to how many servings of which foods you should be eating on the ketogenic diet. The numbers are based on a daily intake of 2,000 calories, so adjust accordingly if you need to.
- Fats: 75% of your daily calories – This might sound like a lot when you first start the keto diet, but it’s important to get enough fat to stay in ketosis. Focus on eating healthy fats, like avocados, nuts, seeds, fish, coconut oil, and grass-fed butter.
- Protein: 15% of your daily calories – To avoid the keto flu, you should start your ketogenic diet with a protein-heavy diet. When your body is getting accustomed to burning fat instead of glucose, it has less energy, which can result in fatigue, headaches and dizziness. A high-protein diet will help your body stay energized.
- Carbohydrates: 10% of your daily calories – You should be eating fewer than 30 grams of net carbs per day, according to most keto experts. That means you should avoid any foods that have more than 10 grams of carbs per serving.
How to Stay in Ketosis While Eating Real Food
As you transition from a diet rich in carbs to one rich in fat, you’ll have to make some changes in your diet. But with a few adjustments, you can still enjoy real foods. Here are some tips for eating well on the keto diet:
- Make your own keto-friendly snacks – You don’t have to go out for keto-friendly foods when you first start the diet. Nuts and seeds, cheese, hardboiled eggs, and veggies make great protein-rich snacks that are easy to prepare.
- Cook your own meals – It’s a bad idea to rely on prepared convenience foods when you’re trying to change your diet. You don’t know what’s in those products, and many of them contain high levels of carbohydrates and other ingredients that are not keto-friendly.
- Drink plenty of water – You’re going to be eating a lot of fat, so you need to stay hydrated. Aim for at least eight glasses per day.
Keto Diet for Weight Loss Bottom line
If you’ve been struggling to lose weight, you may want to consider making the ketogenic diet a part of your lifestyle. This high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet has proven benefits for those looking to lose weight and keep it off.
The trick is figuring out which foods are best to eat, how much of each you should have, and how often. A few tips for choosing healthy carb sources: Choose vegetables and fruits that are higher in fiber and lower in sugar, like strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, spinach, grapefruit, and avocado.
Choose whole grains like oats, barley, quinoa, brown rice, and buckwheat, which are rich in fiber, minerals and B vitamins. And choose legumes like kidney beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, lentils and edamame.
You can also eat low-carb foods like non-starchy vegetables, eggs, meat, fish, and healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and seeds.
Avoid processed foods and foods high in sugar, artificial sweeteners, trans fat, and artificial food additives. If you’re transitioning to a ketogenic diet, start slowly and eat a well-rounded diet.
There are several ways to make the ketogenic diet easier to follow. You can experiment with different sources of fat and carbs to see which works best for you. Keep a food journal to track your progress and discover what may be triggering unwanted weight gain. You can also try helpful strategies like eating smaller meals more frequently and avoiding sugary drinks and alcohol.