Research has linked both processed and unprocessed meat to a higher mortality rate. On the other hand, scientific evidence shows that plant-based diets — those high in fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains — lower the risk of life-threatening diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease and so on. Here are 4 reasons you should reduce meat intake and eat more plant-based foods.
1. No need to count calories
Counting calories is hectic and it can turn into an obsessive behavior. But you can eat veggies, fruits and grains without worrying about portions. These foods are low in calories and rich in fiber so they’ll keep you full without adding excess calories. Consequently it will be easier to lose weight.
I may also note that these foods aren’t addictive, which means they won’t trigger bingeing or overeating.
2. Lower risk of diabetes
The International Diabetes Federation estimates that 390 million people are living with diabetes. And diet is a huge contributing factor.
In one study, researchers found that people who ate plant-based foods had a lower risk of type 2 diabetes compared to those who ate animal products like eggs, meat and dairy. These benefits were attributed to high fiber, antioxidants and reduced intake of saturated fats.
3. Lower blood pressure
High blood pressure increases risk of stroke and heart disease, so it’s important to keep it balanced. This study shows that vegetarian diets reduce blood pressure and even enhance weight loss.
Moderate intake of pastured eggs, grass-fed beef, and wild caught fish is less likely to hurt your blood pressure.
4. Plant-based foods improve skin health
Fruits and veggies are rich in nutrients that enhance collagen production, improve skin health and even lower risk of skin cancer.
Not only that, these foods have high water and fiber content – both are known to benefit the skin.
Ways to eat more plant-based foods
Transitioning to a plant-based diet can be a challenge for some. Use the tips below to change your eating habits.
- Change how you serve food – fill half the plate with beans, veggies or grains and reduce the amount of your meat serving.
- Increase intake of fruits and veggies. Doing this will help you eat more fiber even if you don’t cut out meat.
- Apply avocado on bread instead of using butter.
- Eat plant-based protein alternatives like edamame, tofu, beans and quinoa.
- Set specific days for plant-based meals, for instance you could eat vegetarian meals every Thursday.
- Eat plant-based snacks. Snack on nuts, fruits and salads to keep hunger at bay.
Is there anything stopping you from eating plant-based foods?
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