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plant-based diet

The Pros And Cons Of Plant Based Eating

Plant-based diets are trendy, although opinions are split between the dieting community and medical experts on the long-term benefits and sustainability of eating plant-based. A plant-based diet and lifestyle involve eating primarily plants, such as fruits, vegetables, tubers, seeds, legumes and grains.

There are various reasons why you may resort to a plant-based diet, including an ethical sense or medical condition. However, most people choose this diet because they prefer to avoid ingesting animal products, such as beef, poultry, fish, and eggs – Veganism is mainly based on avoiding animal products for ethical reasons and not just for health. 

 

The whole-food, plant-based (WFPB) diet is a popular choice in the 2011 documentary ‘Forks Over Knives. The documentary promotes eating whole, unrefined or minimally refined plant-based foods. 

Other plant-based diet options include vegetarian, vegan, raw food, flexitarian, pescatarian, fruitarian, Engine 2 diet, and Mediterranean diets. 

Irrespective of your motivation for a plant-based diet, it is essential to consider the pros and cons, which can mean consulting your health practitioner. 

The History Of Plant-Based Diets

The first knowledgeable plant-based diet was vegetarian and dated back to the seventh century BCE. The term you know as ‘vegetarian’ was only used in the mid-1800s.

Religions, such as Buddhism and Hinduism, follow a vegetarian diet in their practice. According to Very Well Fit, repeated research states that whole grains can improve heart health and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity. 

Another study shows that a WFPB diet reduces or eliminates specific medication needs, but this is best checked with your doctor first.

Plant-Based Diet: Pros

When deciding to be on a plant-based diet, it is essential to understand the diets and if they meet your personal and health needs.

Health Benefits

A plant-based diet that focuses on whole, unprocessed food can offer health benefits, including improving your heart health and decreasing the risks of diabetes, cancer and obesity.

Better Well-Being

People report that following a plant-based diet offers more energy and more minor aches or pains. Overall, it can benefit your overall sense of well-being.

Losing Weight

More WFPB diet research shows that this way of eating has beneficial and effective weight-loss properties. In 2016, a meta-analysis of 1151 people found that individuals assigned to vegetarian diets lost significantly more weight than the non-vegetarian diet groups. 

Fewer Restrictions

Other plant-based diet research suggests that this particular eating plan is more effective for weight loss because you don’t need to restrict calories, measure your portion sizes or exercise.

Plant-Based Diets Also Help With:

  • High levels of minerals, fibre, vitamins and antioxidants. It can show improvement in cardiovascular health.
  • It lowers your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and overall cholesterol levels because plant-based diets are low in saturated fats and have no cholesterol properties. 
  • Following this type of diet can improve your glycemic control and brain function. It assists in helping the prevention and management of Alzheimer’s and dementia. 

Plant-Based Diet: Cons

Plant-based diets may be challenging if you want to ensure that your body receives enough protein. Potentially, you may provoke nutrient deficiencies, such as calcium, iron and B12. The diets also need constant meal planning and preparing. 

Possible Nutrient Deficiencies And Low Protein Source

A big challenge of plant-based diets is ensuring that you receive enough of certain vital nutrients and protein. Protein is made of amino acids the body needs – at least in specific proportions. To ensure that your amino acid chain stays strong, you usually turn to meat, milk, fish, eggs, legumes, and grains. 

Animal products have ‘complete’ protein sources because they consist of essential amino acids. Plant-based protein, however, is considered ‘incomplete’ because they lack one or two of nine essential amino acids. This can change with careful planning.

Temporary Side Effect Symptoms

Unfortunately, plant-based diets do come with flaws. They do not require serious concern, but it calls for consideration. 

A downfall with changing to a plant-based lifestyle is attracting weird, temporary side effect symptoms, such as a cold. Because this diet lacks certain amino acids and the usual proteins, your health may take a bit of a knock. 

Is A Plant-Based Diet For You?

Plant-based diets thrive in the health and medical community but have caught on in the fitness industry. Fitness enthusiasts, athletes and environmentalists use the eating plan more and feel the benefits. 

The secret to a successful plant-based diet is the quality it possesses. If you are looking for results, follow a plant-based diet that isn’t high in processed foods, added sugars and sodium. A healthy diet should be a long-term goal, and this can be done by making changes as you go along and speaking to a registered dietician to help you put a healthy and satisfying plan. 

Many diets don’t work for people, and you can only know if a plant-based diet is for you if you try it. Make sure that you research facts to come across the right decision to benefit your nutritional needs, genetic blueprint, budget and goals. 

Remember losing weight isn’t the only indication that you are healthy. There are other ways to improve your health – you can exercise, get a good night’s rest and add in other helpful lifestyle factors. The best diet for you is the one that adds value to your lifestyle.

 

Affinity Health provides you with advanced, professional medical care

Cover for unlimited, managed GP visits, Hospitalisation in the event of illness, dread disease and accidents and Booster options for Emergency Cover, Accident Cover, Medication and ICU.

Speak to a medical professional before making any changes to your diet. 

 

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