Americans everywhere are looking to be healthier, in fact, 75% of Americans in the past decade changed up their diets to achieve this goal. In 2019 alone 125 million Americans followed some sort of diet plan. Diets such as Ketogenic, low-carb, and high-fat made up 12% of the types of diets followed while others such as vegetarian, vegan and flexitarian made up 6%. The Mediterranean, Paleo or Whole30 and Plant-based all tied with 5%. While plant-based diets are not the most popular, they are growing in popularity and even chain restaurants are taking notice.
Based on these findings it may appear that very few people are following a plant-based diet but in fact, 43 million Americans eat plant-based alternatives on a regular basis. This increase has even influenced the restaurant industry to start serving plant-based alternatives. Red Robin, Burger King, Subway, Qdoba, and KFC have already made the plunge to include these options and McDonald’s has plans to do the same. All the same, many are still confused about what a plant-based diet really is and what health benefits it may bring as opposed to other notable diets.
While 75% of consumers have heard of a plant-based diet most are unaware or at least unsure of what it really entails. Many confuse this diet with veganism or vegetarianism or some variation of the two assuming that you can never eat meat or dairy. But a plant-based diet really just means eating minimally processed whole foods, maximizing fruit and vegetable intake and eliminating or at least limiting meat, eggs, and dairy from your daily diet. The concept is to proportionally eat more of your food intake from plant sources and while this mainly means fruits and vegetable it also entails eating nuts, seeds, legumes, beans, whole grains, and healthy oils.
There are many health benefits that have been found in adhering to a plant-based diet and weight loss might just be on the top of the list. Americans have admitted that the number one benefit they see to a diet is weight loss. And for those that have chosen a plant-based diet, they may have hit the jackpot. According to one study plant-based diets were found to produce better results after 1 year than any other type of diet alone. But this isn’t the only benefit these dieters received.
Whole-food plant-based diets have also been found to improve health and reduce or even prevent some diseases. They can reduce inflammation factors associated with cancer and heart disease as well as lower the risk of coronary heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases. Poor diets tend to have a negative effect on blood pressure but diets that are rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy tend to reduce it. Type 2 diabetes was also found to be at a lower risk for development in those with whole-food plant-based diets. As were the case with those experiencing Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
A person’s health isn’t the only benefit found in plant-based diets. Plant-based diets have also been found to be better for the environment. To learn more about this and how eating plants improves your health read on to the infographic below.
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