The healthy lifestyle movement is catching up, and as part of this, people are switching to plant-based diets due to the multitude of health benefits accompanying it. Because it is trending, there are tons of information available on the internet, and it can be quite confusing and overwhelming. This is because plant-based food and diet are generic terms encompassing a wide variety of food and diet plans. The purpose of this article is to act as a guide for people on nutrient-rich foods that they must include in their plant-based diets, read on to know more.
Types Of Plant-Based Diets
Semi Vegetarian: This type of diet combines plant-based food with red meat, fish, and poultry with a frequency less than once a week.
Pesco-Vegetarian: In this type of diet, plant-based foods are combined with only seafood.
Lacto-Ovo-Vegan: This is the most widely adopted vegetarian diet, especially by those switching from a standard diet that includes nonvegetarian food products. In lacto-ovo-vegan diet, plant-based foods are combined with eggs, dairy products, or both, but red meat, seafood, and poultry are strictly avoided.
Vegan: This diet excludes all types of animal products and byproducts. Moreover, most vegans will not use honey.
Types Of Nutrients In Plant-Based Meal
Proteins: Legumes, whole grains like quinoa and amaranth, tofu, soy milk, tempeh, and gluten-rich foods like homemade bread are great sources of protein.
Iron: Tofu, soybeans, tempeh, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, leafy vegetables, and whole grains like quinoa and amaranth are rich sources of iron.
Calcium: Soy, tofu, almonds, rice or oat milk, kale, and Asian green vegetables, sesame seeds, and unhulled tahini are great to get calcium.
Zinc: Whole grains, nuts, seeds, tofu, and tempeh are zinc sources.
Vitamin B12: Soy or oat milk, nori, and shiitake mushrooms can provide vitamin B12.
Omega-3 Fats: Soy food items, bread, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts provide Omega 3 fats.
Vitamin D: Mushrooms, and orange juice are rich in vitamin D.
Important Points About Plant-Based Meal And Diets
- Most often, plant-based meals and diets focus on vegetables, fruits, and legumes for nutrients like vitamins and minerals. But, some people include dairy products and eggs to complement the missing nutrients. For example, Mediterranean and Japanese diet includes meat and seafood in limited amounts.
- A plant-based diet reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and type 2 diabetes, and it helps to manage weight and prevents obesity.
- A vegan or vegetarian diet simply does not mean excluding meat, seafood, and poultry products. It involves careful planning so that you meet adequate nutritional requirements.
- In a plant-based diet, you strictly avoid saturated fats and concentrated sugar consumption.
- In a plant-based meal and diet, you must give special attention to the nutrients like calcium, zinc, iron, omega-3, vitamin B12, and vitamin D.
These are the important points that people who eat a plant-based meal must be aware of, and it is always good to consult with the dietician to adjust the diet to your specific needs.