The popularity of plant-based diets is continuing to grow as people become more concerned with healthy lifestyles. As with many diets, there are many of reasons why someone would choose to adopt a plant-based diet. Here’s our top 10 reasons for either adopting a plant-based diet or incorporating more aspects of a plant-based diet into your daily nutrition.
1 – It’s Less Likely That You’ll Eat Unhealthy Foods
A plant-based diet consists of whole grains, fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts, and heart-healthy oils such as olive oil and avocado oil. If you follow a plant-based diet, it’s can be pretty easy to avoid popular junk foods that add no nutritional value or overeat refined grains which provide poor satiety and are often loaded with more salt and sugar.
2 – It Can Help Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The Food and Agriculture Organization estimated that the livestock sector generated more greenhouse gas emissions than transportation such as cars did—about 14.5% of global greenhouse emissions generated by humans. Much of this comes from cattle farming. Even doing something as simple as reducing your meat intake—as opposed to giving it up entirely—can go a long way towards helping the planet.
3 – Getting in Shape Can Be Easier
Adopting a plant-based diet isn’t just about choosing which foods to eat; it requires a change in mentality, too. When you embrace a plant-based diet, it becomes much easier to know which foods to include and which to avoid. When most of your options are wholefoods that are filling and nutrient dense, you have a much easier time packing on lean muscle mass. On a plant-based diet, there’s hardly such a thing as empty calories! While most of the glory goes to protein, micronutrients provided by whole foods and veggies are an important part of creating a favorable body composition.
4 – Gaining Fat Is More Difficult
One of the interesting things about plant-based diets is that almost everything you eat is going to be full of fiber. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are all a great sources of fiber. A diet that is high in fiber leaves you feeling full for longer and helps with digestion and nutrient absorption.
This is the premise behind many of Dr. Praeger’s products. We prefer to pack as much flavor and nutrition into as tiny a package as possible. For example, our Kale Veggie Burger is only 150 calories, but provides 10 grams of pea protein, 15% of the RDA for iron, and a whopping 6 grams of fiber to keep you feeling full on less. With food this good, you won’t even realize you’re eating healthy!
5 – Getting Your Daily Requirement of Fruits and Vegetables? No problem!
Perhaps the most obvious point, on a plant-based diet, you’ll be eating a lot of plants, and that includes veggies. A widely cited press release by the CDC has stated that only 1 in 10 adults eat enough fruits and veggies a day. Plant-based diets are fantastic for getting in your daily requirement (and more) of fruits and vegetables. There is a myriad of health benefits associated with the consumption of fruits and veggies.
6 – Plant-Based Diets Can Help Reduce Inflammation
Rheumatoid Arthritis affects roughly 1% of the population. In general, many arthritis-like symptoms such as joint pain have recently been linked to inflammation in the body. Many factors can influence inflammation in the body, but the main culprits are obesity and poor diets. A study published by the journal Frontiers in Nutrition found that plant-based diets can reduce pain from arthritis. Many other major diseases among us—including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s—have also been linked to chronic inflammation. A plant-based diet was also associated with a lower BMI.
7 – Your Gut Microbiome Will Thank You
According to another study by Frontiers in Nutrition, whole foods are much more likely to reach the lower parts of the gastrointestinal system, which means that the colon can benefit from the nutritive properties of food passing through. Foods that are highly processed are typically absorbed before they can reach the colon. This is one of the reasons why indigestible types of fiber are also good for you. Because plant-based diets are predominantly high in fiber, as well as minimally processed, your gut microbiome benefits from the production of beneficial bacteria, according to the study.
8 – Help Manage Blood Sugar
Type 2 diabetes is not simply an adult’s disease. A 10-year analysis by the New England Journal of Medicine has found that rates of diabetes among young adults and teens, and children have risen from 2002-2012. It’s clear that the average Western diet has not been conducive to maintaining good health and warding off major issues such as insulin sensitivity and inevitably type 2 diabetes.
An important aspect of preventing type 2 diabetes as well as managing it, revolves around improving insulin sensitivity. This is often through the prescription of exercise and most importantly, a healthy diet of fruits, veggies, and adequate fiber intake that helps stabilize blood sugar. When we eat highly refined, processed foods, they are digested quickly. Not only does this low satiety make us overeat, but we also experience more dramatic swings in blood sugar which fuels the tendency to binge eat.
9 – You’ll Help the Conservation of Species
The immense demand for animal products has caused animal agriculture to be the driving force behind rain forest destruction. It accounts for about 80% of the deforestation rate in the countries that are home to the Amazon rainforest. As rainforests around the world are cleared to make room for cattle pastures, many species suddenly find themselves with nowhere to go and no way to sustain themselves.
10 – Because You Love Yourself
At the end of the day, whether environmental change is something you’re passionate about or you simply want to eat healthy and look good doing it, incorporating more plant-based foods into your diet is going to help you and the world at large. You have to take care of yourself before you take on the world, what better way to do this than to build a foundation of good dietary habits to give you the fuel you need to live your life?
Dr. Praeger’s was founded on this principle. We wanted to make it easy for children and adults to enjoy wholesome, nutritious meals. We make our worst dietary decisions when we’re scrambling for time and need something quick. Our frozen foods take on average 5 minutes or less to cook up in a microwave or skillet, so you never need to make a compromise again.
If you have any questions about our products, please contact us here. We love hearing from our customers about our products!