Eating for health is just one reason behind the food choices we make each day. Some make choices based on cultural and religious reasons, while others on ethical or environmental reasons. Some opt for a particular diet due to food allergies or medical reasons and some just make choices purely based on foods they like or dislike.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to healthy eating but here is quick look at some popular plant-based diets.
The vegetarian diet involves abstaining from eating meat, fish and poultry.
The vegan diet is a form of vegetarian diet but eliminates all animal-derived products, including eggs, dairy and honey.
The paleo diet is a low carb eating pattern that encourages eating whole foods like fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, and poultry.
The pescatarian diet is also a form of vegetarian diet but allows fish and some egg and dairy products.
The low-FODMAP diet is recommended for adults with IBS digestive symptoms and restricts a wide range of foods that are considered fermentable carbs.
The ketogenic diet is a low carb, high fat diet that avoids carb-based foods like grains, sugars, legumes, rice, potatoes, juice and even most fruits.
Here’s some ideas of how to add more plants and colour to your plants-based diet:
Fruits: Apples, bananas, berries, oranges, melons, pears, peaches
Vegetables: Leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots
Grains: Quinoa, barley, buckwheat, rice, oats
Legumes: Lentils, beans, peas, chickpeas.
Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, cashews, chestnuts
Seeds: Flaxseeds, chia and hemp seeds
Healthy fats: Coconut oil, olive oil, avocados
Proteins: Tempeh, tofu, seitan, natto, nutritional yeast, spirulina
Some of the health benefits of plant-based diets are:
higher intake of nutrients like fibre, vitamin C, vitamin E and magnesium
may enhance weight loss
may reduce cancer risk
may stabilise blood sugar
may improve heart health
may prevent type 2 diabetes
may decrease asthma symptoms