A plant-based diet is a diet based predominantly of plants. Examples include lettuces, vegetables, legumes, fruits, grains, seeds and nuts. Plant based diets are usually devoid of any food of animal origin. So, it is a food program that usually does not include the consumption of meat and dairy products.
If you are transitioning to a plant based program, don’t be afraid that you will not get enough protein or calcium. You can get all your nutrients easily or often better from a varied plant focused diet. If you are worried about going cold-turkey, you do not have to remove all animal products from your diet immediately. Try crowding out your plate by incorporating more veggie or fruit based ingredients one at a time.
If you focus on eating plenty of fresh vegetables, grains and natural foods as possible, then you will get everything you need for optimum health. You should however add a quality vitamin B12 supplement to ensure you meet the recommended daily allowance. Vitamin B12 is also naturally found in nutritional yeast, nori, and shiitake mushrooms. Many fortified cereals and milk alternatives, such as soy milk contain Vitamin B12, as well.
Additionally, it is important to understand that following a plant-based diet does not mean eliminating all types of proteins in favor of a diet rich in carbohydrates and sugar. What a proper plant based diet focuses on is the perfect balance between vegetables, fruit, complex carbohydrates, and vegetable proteins. Plant-based foods are an excellent foundation for learning to follow a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle for your health and the environment.
Click here to view Are plant based diets healthy vs. American diets?