A plant-​based diet can boost opti­mum health, decreas­ing the risk of heart dis­ease, Type 2 dia­betes, and cer­tain can­cers.

The main advan­tages with a plant-​based diet seem to be related more to the foods con­sumed (eat­ing plenty of veg­eta­bles, fruits, whole grains, beans and nuts) rather than those foods avoided (pri­mar­ily meats).

Stay­ing at a healthy weight is eas­ier on a plant-​based diet and menu. A “less meat, more plants” style of eat­ing can improve qual­ity of life.

Asso­ci­ated ben­e­fits include the reduc­tion of inflam­ma­tion and dis­eases attrib­uted to inflam­ma­tion. Lower cho­les­terol and blood pres­sure lev­els are oth­ers plus ups seen with plant-​based food choices.

There are many dif­fer­ent types of plant-​based diets. The three most com­mon ones are: Vegan: No ani­mal prod­ucts such as meat, eggs, or dairy prod­ucts. Lacto-​vegetarian: No meat or eggs, but dairy prod­ucts are accept­able. Lacto-​Ovo-​vegetarian: No meat is con­sumed, but dairy prod­ucts and eggs are allowed.

Some peo­ple elect a plant-​based diet with­out going com­pletely veg­e­tar­ian. Mostly fruits, veg­eta­bles, nuts, beans, whole grains, and meat sub­sti­tutes can greatly reduce heart-​related risks.

Make the switch to lean in on dietary changes by plan­ning and design. Take baby steps to get on fork over knife path.
Up the daily veg­etable and fruit intake. Find ways to add more pro­duce into every meal or snack. This helps tran­si­tion to a higher-​fiber diet, even if elim­i­nat­ing meat alto­gether at first isn’t the plan.

Redesign the plate. Fill at least half of your plate with pro­duce, grains and legumes and down size meat serv­ing size. Think food swaps– chopped mush­rooms or tofu for half of the ground meat nor­mally used in meat­loaf, tacos, chili, or pasta sauce. Or try veggie-​based dishes like bur­ri­tos.

Pick the health­i­est meats. Focus first on decreas­ing or elim­i­nat­ing processed meats — bacon, deli meats, hot dogs, and sausage. Stick to leaner meats and fatty fish such as salmon, which is high in inflammation-​busting omega-​3 fatty acids.

Find a semi-​veggie style. 100% plant-​based meals, once every seven days, in the style of Meat­less Mon­day — a cam­paign that encour­ages peo­ple to start each week with a day of veg­e­tar­ian eat­ing — are a great way to begin. More restric­tive, but also for­giv­ing, is the VB6 approach, eat­ing vegan — no meat, fish, dairy, or eggs — before 6 p.m. Din­ner is then, an open menu. Find your fork.