Tuesday, October 20 2015
You know that eating more fruits and vegetables is good for you, but it can be daunting to think about cutting out meat and making the switch to a more plant-based diet. The good news: You don’t have to give up meat altogether to eat healthier. If you’re considering transitioning to eating more vegetables and less meat, this four-step guide can help make the process much more manageable.
It seems more people than ever are moving away from a meat-heavy diet and making the switch to a plant-based eating style. Not only is this trend popular with celebrities like Carrie Underwood and Gwyneth Paltrow, it is, arguably, a healthier way of eating and better for the environment, as well.
As registered dietitians, we’ve witnessed a growing body of research confirming that diets centered on minimally processed plant foods that come straight from the earth not only fight a myriad of chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes, they also help to keep you svelte. However, many people feel overwhelmed when they try to dramatically change their diets, especially If they think mistakenly believe they should cut out all animal products.
Fortunately, this is not the case at all. If you’re considering transitioning to a more plant-based diet, this four-step guide will help make the process much more manageable. When you feel as though you’ve mastered one step, move on to the next. And feel free to start with any of the steps and progress to another step in any order that feels most comfortable for you.
One thing to keep in mind: A “plant-based” diet emphasizes minimally processed foods from plants, with modest amounts of fish, lean meat and low-fat dairy—red meat is eaten at only sparingly. In other words, you don’t have to become a vegan. After all, one of the best ways to embrace a plant-based diet is to enjoy a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet like the Mediterranean diet, which includes fish, seafood, and some occasional poultry and meat.