A plant-based diet involves eating foods derived from plants such as vegetables, wholegrains, legumes, nuts and seeds. It has long been acknowledged by nutritionists and scientists for its beneficial effects on health.
A plant-based diet may reduce the risk of chronic illnesses like cancer, heart disease and certain forms of diabetes. Furthermore, it can aid weight loss efforts.
A plant-based diet consists primarily of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Additionally, this type of eating pattern contains high amounts of fiber – beneficial for your health as it helps ward off diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
Aptima Nutrition & Sports Consultants suggest this low-calorie option is beneficial for those looking to shed pounds or maintain their current weight, as it’s lower in saturated fat, sodium, trans fat and added sugars. “Eating healthier helps promote weight loss or maintenance,” Ms Jacyln Reutens advises.
However, she cautions that those who transition to a plant-based diet may be missing out on essential nutrients such as full profile amino acids (protein), omega 3 fatty acid and Vitamin B12. Therefore, taking a multivitamin supplement is recommended.
Vegetarian or vegans generally recommend consuming two to three servings of fresh fruits and vegetables each day, in order to get all the essential vitamins and minerals.
Many health professionals suggest that a plant-based diet can be beneficial for weight loss. Although it isn’t a miracle cure, studies show that swapping animal products with nutrient-rich plant foods can help you shed pounds and keep them off longterm.
A plant-based diet that promotes optimal health is high in fiber and low in processed foods. Furthermore, it provides plenty of protein from grains, nuts and legumes.
Jaclyn Reutens, a dietitian and founder of Aptima Nutrition and Sports Consultants, believes that eating more plants will not only boost energy levels but also benefit your digestive tracts, leading to less body aches.
Reutens recommends that you consume a wide range of plants, such as whole grains, beans, vegetables, fruits and nuts to ensure you get enough essential nutrients like protein, iron and calcium from food sources.
The key to making the transition successfully is to do so gradually and gradually. It may not be easy to completely switch over overnight, so start by including meatless meals into your weekly menu planning.
Reduced risk of chronic diseases
Plant-based diets have been known to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses like cancer, heart disease and diabetes, improve quality of life and have an environmental benefit.
According to a study published in Nutrition 2018, people who consume more plant foods have lower risks of death and other chronic illnesses such as coronary heart disease, certain types of cancer and obesity. This diet was particularly beneficial for women.
Researchers used a plant-based diet index to assess the dietary intake of over 590 individuals from the Rotterdam Study in the Netherlands. Results revealed that those who consumed more plants had lower levels of total cholesterol (TC) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) in their blood than those who consumed fewer vegetables.
Additionally, researchers noted that a plant-based diet was linked to reduced risks of weight gain and obesity as well as longer lifespan in older age. Furthermore, it may help promote health and reduce climate change impacts since plants use less water than animals to grow.
Reduced environmental impact
Over the last decade, more Singaporeans are cutting down on their meat intake or going vegan to reduce their environmental impact. They understand the damaging effects of animal farming and how their diets contribute to climate change and biodiversity loss, according to Mr Martin Oeij from Centre for a Responsible Future.
Recent studies have demonstrated that a plant-based diet (PBD) can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, land use and water footprints. Compared with conventional meat production methods, plant-based alternatives require much less water for production of meat as well as less fertilizer/manure runoff that contributes to eutrophication of water bodies.
According to Deloitte’s report, transitioning to plant-based diets (PBDs) could reduce global food-related greenhouse gas emissions by more than 25% and land use by more than 50%. Furthermore, these diets offer health benefits since they are packed with essential plant nutrients like vitamins and minerals for human wellbeing.