Over the last few years, “plant-based” has become quite popular worldwide. The global pandemic and sudden lockdown forced us to pay attention to our health and what we eat. During and after the lockdown, there was a renewed focus on strengthening immunity, inner health, and overall well-being.
In retrospect, more and more people in the last few years have shifted to plant-based meals. The plant-based philosophy, though only associated with food, can be extended beyond into lifestyle. It is simply making informed decisions and choices on what to eat, what to wear, and what to buy that do not harm and benefit the animals, environment, and humans.
Consuming plant-based food revolves little around diets but is a different approach to how we eat food. There is no calorie counting or macronutrient monitoring involved in plant-based eating. Overall, it is mainly about replacing animal-based food products with plant-based ones.
There are several interpretations of plant-based diets, including:
Vegan Diet: People following this diet exclude animal products, including honey, milk, and cheese. You can now place online orders for vegan meal kits to be delivered to your doorstep. It eliminates the hassle of cooking after a long workday and ensures that you eat the right food items.
Vegetarian: in this diet, people only exclude meat food products like beef, chicken, pork, and fish from their diet. However, they include milk, eggs, and cheese. In replacement of meat, they consume plant-based protein to avoid deficiency.
Raw Vegan: People who have adopted this diet only eat raw, plant-based food.
Flexitarians: Last but not the least, the flexitarians reduce their meat intake and lean on a primarily plant-based diet with some animal products sprinkled in the middle.
So, why are people increasingly adopting plant-based food as daily food choices?
4 Reasons Why People Are Leaning Towards Plant-Based Food
Better For Health
According to the Hungry for Plant-Based: Australian Consumer Insights survey published in October 2019, the primary reason for most Australians to adopt plant-based food was to improve their health and overall well-being.
The World Health Organization has also recommended following a plant-based diet as it is low in saturated fats, salt, and added sugar. Additionally, a plant-based diet has also been found to reduce the risk of developing non-communicable health conditions like cardiovascular diseases, respiratory illnesses, some types of cancers, and diabetes.
Maintaining a plant-based diet and opting for vegan meal kits is much more affordable as vegetables, fruits, and legumes are priced lower than dairy and meat products. Moreover, plant-based meals take less time to prepare and will save you time.
Promotes Weight Loss
Despite not aiming to lose weight, people who follow a plant-based diet tend to lose more weight than meat eaters. Weight loss is an automatic by-product of following a plant-based diet. Replacing certain meat-based food items with plants nourishes the body and helps cut down fat.
A study published in Diabetes Care found a significant difference between the Body Mass Index (BMI) of meat eaters and non-meat eaters. While the mean BMI for non-vegetarians was 28.8, for vegans, it was 23.6. So, by the numbers, it is safe to say that non-vegetarians are comparatively overweight than vegans.
The researchers of another small study also reported significant weight loss in participants who followed a plant-based, whole-food diet. For example, 65 adults who participated in the survey lost 9.25 pounds on average in a year by following a plant-based diet. Furthermore, the diet they followed was not restrictive, and the participants ate what they wanted and still lost body weight.
Better For The Environment
It takes fewer natural resources to grow and make plant-based food products, putting far less stress on the environment and the planet. However, approximately 60% of greenhouse gases come from meat-based food production, which inadvertently causes twice as much pollution as plant-based food.
To sum it up, raising animals only to be slaughtered is much worse for the environment than growing fruits, legumes, and vegetables to eat.
Kinder To Animal Life
Besides dietary choices, adopting a plant-based lifestyle is also kinder to animals reared for consumption. Many people following this lifestyle have eliminated all meat and dairy products, including clothing and accessories.
They do not use anything made from or containing animal extracts and lean on cruelty-free, vegan products to live their daily life.
The market is increasingly getting filled with alternatives that support a plant-based lifestyle. From vegan meal kits to vegan clothing, makeup, and accessories, living a green life has never been easier.
Whether you want to adopt plant-based living for your health, the animals, or the environment, one simple decision can change the world for good.