Guide to a Plant-Based Diet

One of the most important steps you can take to boost your energy and help prevent chronic diseases is to adopt a plant-based diet. Science shows changing your nutrition is a powerful way to live longer, help the environment, and reduce your risk of getting sick.


Plant-Based Diet

Boost Your Health With a Plant-Based Diet

Many chronic diseases can be controlled with a whole-food, plant-based diet. Scientific research presented at the ACP Internal Medicine Meeting shows that a healthful diet in patients promotes the prevention and reversal of chronic diseases such as CVD, diabetes, and obesity.

“Of the ten leading causes of death in the United States, at least seven, including the top four, are directly related to diet choices,” Michelle McMacken, MD, assistant professor of medicine at New York University School of Medicine, said during her presentation.

You’re probably thinking that moving to a plant-based diet sounds like a great idea, but you don’t know where to start? Keep reading to learn more.

What is a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet?

A whole-foods, plant-based diet is based on the following principles:

  • Whole food describes natural foods that are not heavily processed. That means whole, unrefined, or minimally refined ingredients.
  • Plant-based means food that comes from plants and doesn’t contain animal ingredients such as meat, milk, eggs, or honey.

A whole-foods, plant-based diet lets you meet your nutritional needs by only eating natural, minimally-processed foods where none of the ingredients come from animals. The basic principles of a whole-foods, plant-based diet are as follows:

  • Emphasizes whole, minimally processed foods.
  • Limits or avoids animal products.
  • Focuses on plants, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts, which should make up the majority of what you eat.
  • Excludes refined foods, like added sugars and white flour

The Benefits of a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet

There are several major benefits to moving to plant-based nutrition. These benefits include:

  • Easy weight management: A review of 12 studies that included more than 1,100 people found that those assigned to plant-based diets lost significantly more weight — about 4.5 pounds (2kg) over an average of 18 weeks — than those assigned to non-vegetarian diets.
  • Disease prevention: Whole-food, plant-based eating can help prevent, chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease
  • A lighter environmental footprint: A plant-based diet places much less stress on the environment.

Simple Plant-Based Recipes to Get You Started

While you might not be ready to eliminate meat from your diet entirely, opting to try it just one day a week can make a big difference. Replacing even one to two servings of meat in your daily diet with plant protein may have a lasting impact on your health. 

Here are some easy plant-based recipes to get you started.

Watch the video to learn more about the health benefits of moving to a plant-based diet.

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