What Is A Plant-Based Diet?
As plant-based diets become more popular than ever, you might be wondering exactly what it means, what you can eat and if there are any benefits to eating more plants. We’re here to help! Read on to get all your plant-based questions answered as well as some tips and advice to get you started if you are thinking about making the switch to plant-based or just get more plants on your plate this year.
What is a plant-based diet?
A plant-based diet is a diet wherein the majority of your meals are made up of plants. Typical foods such as fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds, pulses and grains make up the majority of what someone on a plant-based diet eats each day. However, plant-based is a pretty flexible term — this can encompass a vegan who would consider themselves 100% plant-based — but also someone who would describe themselves as a flexitarian. Plant-based means that there is an emphasis on your plate being full of plant-based foods rather than meat, seafood or dairy, however someone who still eats these things occasionally can still be considered plant-based.
What’s the difference between a vegetarian, a vegan and a plant-based diet?
A vegetarian may still eat dairy and eggs, but they would technically also be on a plant-based diet. Similarly, someone who is typically vegan and eats no animal products would also still be plant-based. The term plant-based may come in handy for people who avoid meat, dairy, eggs and most seafood, but make an exception for things like mussels and fish since bivalves are sustainable and not sentient. The beauty of being plant-based is that if you’re already making the effort to eat less meat and dairy, chances are you are also on a plant-based diet.
What are the benefits of eating plant-based?
There are lots of different ways plant-based diets benefit both your body and the planet. Switching from animal products and processed foods to a wholefood plant first diet has a lot of benefits for your heart and reduces your chance of obesity as plant foods are naturally lower in saturated fats and calories. As well as better for your health it’s a great place to start to take better care of our planet. Eating just 3 plant based meals every week for 1 year saves 600kg of CO2 (the equivalent of driving from London to Egypt), 370,000 litres of water and almost an acre of land which could be used to plant over 1,000 trees. Win win.
What foods can you eat on a plant-based diet?
It’s not just fruit and vegetables! If you are looking for a place to start below is a starter to help you build your plant-based shopping list.
Getting enough protein into their plant-based meals is one of the common concerns people have when trying to make the change to plant-based. Thankfully there’s loads of options and here’s a few to get you started:
Check out our full guide to plant-based protein here that tells you everything you could need to know
Why not start with our tangy, sweet and crispy Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad
- Sweet potatoes
Why not try these Creamy Overnight Oats for a quick easy plant-based breakfast.
Is a plant-based diet good for your gut?
According to leading nutritionist, Tim Spector, a variety of plants helps to energise your gut, therefore the more colourful your plate is, the easier it is to heal your gut. We know 30 different plants a week sounds a lot but it’s simpler than you thought, take a look at our full guide here or if you don’t have time to cook you can get your 30 a week with only three of our dishes, get started with our bestsellers.
This article on how Emily went plant-based should be your next read!
By Toni Olukiran
Toni is one of our lovely Content Marketing Assistants, and when she’s not writing posts about everything from Jamaican cooking to vegan champagne, she’s making a Spotify playlist (she was at 200, at her last count) or playing tennis in the park.