6 Things You Didn’t Know About Plant-Based Diets

6 Things You Didn’t Know About Plant-Based Diets

You’ve seen it on the menus at that hipster restaurant downtown.. “vegan” or “plant-based”... you shrug it off because the sweet-chili lime grilled chicken wings truly call your name. Your friend across the table tries to convince your otherwise and tells you that “meat is bad!” and that “humans can actually live without it!”. The server brings out your wings while your friend is enjoys her “tastes-just-like-chicken” sandwich. Your food, on the other hand, is frozen; the delectable wings you couldn’t wait to devour were cold. While your friend is smirking with that “I told you so face” you simply chalk it up to an unfortunate coincidence. But when your server asks if she can bring you something else on the house, you forgive your meat-eating tendencies for once and order something off of the other menu. Settling for a BBQ jackfruit sandwich with a side of fries and cashew aioli, you realize it’s not so bad and although it’s not the same, you decide to embark on this new journey…

Here are 6 things that may surprise you about a plant-based diet:

  1. Being plant-based doesn’t mean you have to be vegan or vegetarian, although many choose to be. It justs places a large focus on foods that derive primarily from plants. Not just fruits and vegetables, but experimenting with new seeds, beans, and grains are all part of the lifestyle. Being conscious of the ingredients that you choose for consume can do wonders for your health and future body. [1]
  2. To clarify: vegetarian diets typically exclude meat, poultry, fish. On the other hand, vegan diets, as a subset of vegetarianism, also exclude any byproducts of animals such as dairy, eggs, and even honey (bees!). However, it is important to note that many people do create their own variations depending on what they need or prefer. [2]
  3. If you do choose the vegan or vegetarian route, you’ll find yourself relying on other sources for your meals, which is why it’s very important to pick wisely. As a once-vegan, I found myself occasionally filling up on fries and bread to substitute for the lack of meat in my diet. But if you make conscious choices for sides, you can still feel full at the end of your meals. Instead of loaded potatoes, opt for a side of chickpeas (amazing source of protein!). Try our Chana Masala!
  4. But what are some benefits of cutting out meat and dairy? It’s a known fact that heart disease is the biggest killer in the US. Much of the poultry and cheese we consume contains saturated fat, which can drive up our cholesterol level thus increasing our risk for heart disease or stroke. Concerned you won’t be able to find healthy alternatives? Try a meat substitute like tempeh or seitan.. [3]
  5. Our bodies aren’t as able to digest and process dairy and in fact, almost 65% of the world has a reduced tolerance to lactose shortly after infancy. So it makes sense that cutting out dairy can help with digestion issues as well as a myriad of health issues including clearing up acne and weight loss. [4]
  6. If anything, being plant-based means knowing what’s going into your body. When you change your diet so drastically so that you’re cutting out what might seem like every ingredient known to man, you will do one or both of these things: 1) realize that making your own food is just way easier and 2) you will pay increased attention to restaurant menus and you’ll start to learn more about every ingredient and what you should avoid.

-Kirenjot Kaur

Kirenjot is a clinical researcher by day and Buttermilk enthusiast by night (and day). She is a foodie and an adrenaline junkie. Bucket list? Skydiving and learning how to make dosa.

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