What is a plant-based diet and what are the benefits?

March 27, 2019Melanie

For once there is no recipe in this article. Maybe you’re wondering why my blog is called “Plantbased Lifestyle” or why I only create vegan recipes. With this article I would like to introduce you to the plant-based diet because this particular nutrition has a very positive effect on your health and well-being.

My way to the plant-based diet

My path to a plant-based diet took a little longer. I didn’t eat that way overnight, it was a process. Back then, at the end of my long journey through Australia, I decided to go vegetarian. However not because of my health but because of the animal suffering. I wanted to do this for a long time but it was not an easy step for me.

Basically, I had been “known” for my stomach problems and it did not get better in the following years. I tried a lot, from gluten-free to sugar-free still the stomach ache kept coming back. I also struggled with flatulence. Nevertheless, I haven’t kept to the strict diets for long either. Each time it was simply too radical and after a short time, I was craving unhealthy food.

Today I think it was a mixture that changed everything. I started to change my life according to my wishes and needs. Nutrition has contributed a lot to this. I became more and more interested in the plant-based diet. The health and ecological benefits convinced me and I slowly started to follow them. It was a very long process. I went this way in small steps and that’s why I arrived where I am today. Nowadays I rarely have stomach problems because I live this way.

What does a whole-food, plant-based diet actually mean?

There are so many different diets out there, it’s very confusing. For example, there are people who strictly follow a low-carb diet or only eat low-fat foods. But does it really have to be that strict? So many people are struggling with diets, either to lose weight or to stay slim permanently. I have personally learned that most of these diets might work for a short time but not for long-term. Moreover I think most of them are too restrictive. What do you think about this topic? What experiences have you had with dieting?

Therefore I would like to inform you how this diet works because it is very rich in variety and delicious. You don’t have to make any sacrifices. You change from a rather unhealthy diet to a more healthy one. For the reason that the plant-based diet emphasizes whole, minimally processed food, it tastes more natural and you have barely cravings for unhealthy food because you don’t eat much flavor enhancers (like glutamat or sugar – which often hide in convenience food).

With this diet you make sure to

  • eat little or no animal products
  • consume minimally processed foods
  • eat plant based that means your meals primarily consist of whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole grains and seeds
  • pay attention to the quality of the food and seasonal purchases are preferred

Benefits of a whole-food, plant-based diet

  1. With a plant-based diet you can lose weight easily and above all manage to keep your weight permanently.
  2. This diet is environment friendly since you mostly avoid animal products and pay attention to the quality of the food.
  3. You prevent diseases because you are eating more fruits and vegetables. It helps to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
  4. The diet has a positive effect on your body and psyche.

Plant-Based vs Vegan Lifestyle

What’s the difference? Vegans do not eat or use any animal products. They usually act for ethical reasons considering that no animals have to die for them. But the sustainability aspect is also important to the vegan because meat and dairy from mass livestock farming pollute the climate. However, this doesn´t necessarily mean that all vegans are interested in a healthy diet. They are mainly concerned about the ethical reasons, whereas health is the most important factor in the plant-based diet.

Basically this means that you mostly avoid processed and unhealthy foods. Furthermore, there are no strict guidelines or definitions for what constitutes a whole food, plant-based diet. There are people who no longer eat animal products and others who choose not to live without them completely.

Conclusion: What is this all about?

I want to inspire you to live a healthy lifestyle with the help of delicious plant-based dishes. Living like this you are contributing your share to make the environment a little better. It is not about abandoning animal based products completely, rather about finding a good balance and to reduce the intake of meat and egg / milk produce.

Anyone can manage to eat healthy. It doesn’t have to be perfect or happen overnight. That’s usually not how it works. It’s incredibly important to have a balance, not to expect too much at once. It works best if you take small steps and start slowly. If you have any questions or recipe wishes please let me know. I’m always happy about messages from you!

Have a look at my plant-based dinner ideas

Yellow Curry

Or do you need some breakfast ideas?

Pumpkin Pancakes

Are you a chocolate or snack person? Click here for some ideas.

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