A Plant-Based Diet Isn’t Automatically Healthy: Get Yours Right With These Tips

Plant-Based Diet TipsThis year, starting a plant-based diet has become one of the hottest New Year’s resolutions.  After all, tons of studies are now starting to suggest that skipping animal-based products is a great way to boost nutrition, to prevent certain diseases and even to enjoy greater longevity. That said, just because you’re not eating something that came from an animal, it doesn’t mean that the food you’ve chosen is automatically healthy.  There are certain other considerations to take into account before you assume you’ve made all the most nutritious choices.

Is a Plant-Based Diet Your Healthiest Choice?

The answer to that question isn’t an obvious one.  A plant-based diet can be an exceptionally healthy and nutritious one.  Done properly, it can help you to get all the nutrition you need while avoiding much of what you don’t need. You sidestep any unnecessary or even harmful components of animal-based foods.

That said, not all unwanted food substances come from animal-based products.  There are some nutritional benefits to eating various types of meats, poultry, eggs, dairy, fish, and other animal products.  However, they also come with their drawbacks.  Choosing a plant-based diet and selecting foods based on nutritional balance will ensure that you don’t face any of those drawbacks, because they simply aren’t a part of what you eat.

However, there’s junk food with high-sodium, high-preservative, high-pesticide and other unwanted substances in the vegan world too. Therefore, if you’re choosing a plant-based diet for the purpose of your healthy nutrition – as opposed to ethical, ecological or spiritual reasons, that is – then it’s important to get to know what your body does and does not need and make the majority of your meal and snack choices by using that knowledge.

Ultra-Processed Foods Should Still Be Avoided

Plant-based diet or not, you’ll always have ultra-processed foods as an option. They’re typically flavorful, easy to prepare (often heat-and-eat or can be consumed straight out of the package), and even cheap. That said, regardless of whether they contain animal-based ingredients, they come with all the nutritional drawbacks you’d expect from any highly processed food. They should be avoided.

If you’re seeking the nutritional benefits of a plant-based diet, it’s always best to start with whole foods. Fill half your plate with veggies and fruits at every meal. Don’t forget whole grains and some protein too. Focus on eating a variety of different types of ingredients so your week will give you a spectrum of different nutrients instead of a continual repetition of a specific set. That will help you to build a great nutritional foundation that you can continue to evolve as you get to know your favorite ingredients, recipes and even your regular habits.

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