WHAT IS A PLANT-BASED DIET?

6 Aug 2019

 

Plant-based diets are simple yet significantly more beneficial than other diets. Beyond typical diet methods of (just) restricting processed foods, plant-based diets highlight a strong focus on the increased consumption of a mixed variety of wholesome plant-based foods.

DIET: 

Refers to an individuals food choices, values and patterns, including physical, mental and environmental circumstances connected to these eating habits.

Plant-based diets are characterised by an eating style that comprises wholefoods, of which are mostly plants. In respect to health, the evidence conveys that a diet comprising 90% or more plants results in significant health benefits such as living better and longer.

 

THE 90%+ PLANT-BASED DIET

Wholefoods | all

Plant-based | 90-100%

Vegetables | large variety

Whole grains | high fibre and variety

Legumes | mixed variety

Fruits | coloured variety

Healthy plant fats | unrefined

To further elaborate, the term plant-based is used to describe a diet that focuses on real, unprocessed plant foods including vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices.

Animal foods such as meats, seafood, chicken, eggs and dairy, are kept to a minimal or completely excluded.

 

Highly processed foods such as white sugars, bleached flours and highly-refined oils found in most packaged foods are to be avoided. 

 

PLANT-BASED DIETS ARE NOT THE SAME AS VEGAN DIETS

 

Different to vegan diets, which avoid all animal-based foods and their related products, plant-based diets further exclude processed foods and highlight the consumption of a mixed variety of wholefoods. Compared to vegan diets, plant based eating can allow small amounts of animal foods (~up to 10%) within the diet but predominantly focuses on plant wholefoods.

 

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?

 

  • VEGAN // no animal foods, generally due to ethical reasons

  • VEGETARIAN // no animal flesh, but may allow dairy and eggs

  • PESCATARIAN // no animal flesh, except for fish and seafood

  • FLEXITARIAN // reduced animal intake for health reasons, however occasionally include it

  • PLANT-BASED // 90-100% plants, all wholefoods, with little or no animal foods or dairy

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