Take your health to a new level with a predominantly plant-based diet |29 April 2022
Welcome to another weekly installment of “Eat for Our Health", your pathway to staying healthy or taking your health to a better level.
You've heeded all our advice to cut out or cut down on harmful elements in your daily eating routine such as excess sugars, salts and ultra-processed foods; keeping up with your daily water intake, and walking some extra steps every day.
We'll also take it up a notch and introduce you to the idea of looking at getting most of your daily nutrients from the colourful world of plants ‒ that's vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, legumes, herbs, seeds and nuts.
So over the next two to three months we'll explore this wonderful aspect of eating that draws on the flavourful products you find in the market and roadside stalls.
A predominantly plant-based diet can boost your health
One of the most powerful steps you can take to improve your health, boost energy levels, and prevent chronic diseases is to move to a predominantly plant-based diet.
There’s excellent scientific evidence that a plant-based diet can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancer, and other major lifestyle diseases.
Many people also report bigger fitness payoffs, reduced inflammation, and better health outcomes overall after making the switch.
What is a plant-based diet?
Plant-based diets constitute a diverse range of dietary patterns that emphasise foods derived from plant sources coupled with lower consumption or exclusion of animal products. Vegetarian diets form a subset of plant-based diets, which may exclude the consumption of some or all forms of animal foods.
Common vegetarian diets:
Vegan diets omit all animal products, including meat, dairy, fish, eggs and honey
Lacto-vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish, poultry and eggs, but include dairy products such as milk, cheese, yoghurt and butter
Lacto-ovo vegetarian diets include eggs and dairy, but not meat or fish
Ovo-vegetarian diets exclude meat, poultry, seafood and dairy products, but allow eggs
Pesco-vegetarian (or pescatarian) diets include fish, dairy and eggs, but not meat
Semi-vegetarian (or flexitarian) diets are primarily vegetarian but include meat, dairy, eggs, poultry and fish on occasion, or in small quantities
Source: WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2021
Benefits of a plant-based diet
Plant-based diets have the potential not only to improve human health but also to reduce the environmental impacts associated with high consumption of animal-sourced foods such as meat and dairy products.
The production of plant foods, such as fruits and vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, produces lower greenhouse gas emissions than that of animal foods.
Foods associated with the greatest negative environmental impacts – unprocessed and processed red meat ‒ are consistently associated with the largest increases in disease risk. Shifting towards plant-based diets can also help prevent biodiversity loss.
This shift in dietary patterns could significantly reduce global land use for agriculture, by reducing the amount of land required for grazing and growing crops.
It is encouraging that reducing the consumption of unprocessed and processed red meat has dual benefits for both human and planetary health.
Slowly transition to more plant-based foods
Going predominantly plant-based may seem impossible in the beginning but like with everything else that we’ve recommended here, think of making changes slowly and build up from there.
We’ll see you again next week where we will be taking it a step further by diving into whole-food, plant-based (WFPB) diets.
Join us here on our Eat for Our Health page every week, and look for our pages on Social Media - Eat for our health Seychelles on Facebook, and @eat4ourhealth on Instagram.
Yours in health
The E4OH Team