What is a Plant Based Diet? A Guide to Foods and Recipes
What is a Plant based diet?
It’s a diet or lifestyle that consists of eating primarily plant based foods but it’s not necessarily vegan or vegetarian. Plant based means there’s a main focus of consuming plant based ingredients as the major part of your diet. These plant based ingredients are derived from plants like vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes and seeds. Newer processed products on the market like veggie patties, beyond burger and impossible burger are a few examples of plant based products that look like meat.
Health benefits of a plant based diet
A well researched, planned diet has been said to support a healthy lifestyle through food all stages of life. The well respected China Study Book discusses this and the article on the Harvard Health Blog also talks amount the immense health benefits. Consuming foods rich in nutrients derived from plants can help lower the risk of heart disease and other illnesses. Whole foods, which are minimally processed foods, also play a major part in this diet to help boost your energy levels.
Can you eat dairy, eggs and seafood on a plant based diet?
Everyone has their own guidelines on how strict their plant based diet is and incorporate varying degrees of animal products. Some people will consume small is limited amounts of dairy, eggs or seafood in their diet. But plant based ingredients are still the primary source of foods and animal products are limited. Here’s some great ingredients that you can eat or use in your cooking:
- Vegetables and Tubers
- Legumes such as chick peas, lentils, black beans or any type of bean
- Whole Grains
- Nuts and Seeds
“Plant Only Diet” vs “Plant Based Diet”
This is probably the clearest distinction regarding the different degrees of this diet. Some define “plant only” as vegan where no animal products are consumed. And “plant based” as a small percentage of a diet where dairy, eggs and animal prides are consumed.
Here’s some great plant based diet foods and recipes to get started:
- Zucchini “Tortillas” or Wraps
- Low Carb Sriracha Roasted Cauliflower
- Everyday Spaghetti Squash
- Low carb Smashed cauliflower (cheese is optional)
- Zucchini Noodles with Spinach and Parmesan (Parmesan is optional)
- 20 minute Greek Salad (feta cheese is optional)
- Super easy 2 ingredient Butternut Squash Soup (use vegetable broth or stock)
- Healthy Air Fried Green Beans
- Air Fried Crispy Broccoli