Following A Plant-Based Diet? Here's How To Ensure You Eat Healthy
Below we share tips you should follow when following a plant-based diet to make sure your diet is healthy.
Minimise the consumption of processed plant-based meat substitutes
A plant-based diet is a way of eating that primarily includes foods derived from plants such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. It emphasises the consumption of these plant foods while minimising or excluding animal products like meat, dairy, eggs, and fish. Keep reading as we discuss some parameters to keep in mind when following a plant-based diet to make sure your diet is healthy.
12 Strategies to ensure you follow a healthy plant-based diet:
1. Eat a variety of whole foods
Include a diverse range of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds in your diet. This ensures you receive a wide array of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
2. Ensure sufficient protein intake
Incorporate plant-based protein sources such as tofu, tempeh, lentils, quinoa, chia seeds, and hemp seeds. These provide essential amino acids for muscle maintenance and repair.
3. Include healthy fats
Consume sources of healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. These provide omega-3 fatty acids, promote brain health, and aid in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
4. Incorporate calcium-rich foods
Opt for plant-based calcium sources like fortified plant milk, tofu, tempeh, spinach, kale, and almonds. Adequate calcium intake supports bone health.
5. Ensure sufficient iron intake
Include iron-rich foods in your diet, such as legumes, nuts, fortified cereals, tofu, and dark leafy greens. Pairing these with vitamin C-rich foods enhances iron absorption.
6. Consume vitamin B12 supplements
Plant-based diets may lack vitamin B12, so it's advisable to take B12 supplements or consume fortified foods like plant milk or nutritional yeast.
7. Get enough vitamin D
Ensure you get sufficient sunlight exposure or consider taking a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D aids in calcium absorption and supports immune function.
8. Prioritise fibre-rich foods
Plant-based diets are naturally high in fibre, which aids digestion, supports heart health, and helps maintain a healthy weight. Include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes for a fibre boost.
9. Choose whole grains
Opt for whole-grain bread, pasta, rice, oats, and quinoa instead of refined grains. Whole grains provide more nutrients and fibre, promoting better blood sugar control and heart health.
10. Limit processed foods
Minimise the consumption of processed plant-based meat substitutes, sugary snacks, and refined grains. These may be high in added sugars, sodium, and unhealthy fats.
11. Stay hydrated
Drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day. Water is crucial for maintaining body temperature, lubricating joints, and facilitating bodily functions.
12. Listen to your body
Pay attention to your body's hunger and fullness cues. Eat mindfully, and focus on nourishing yourself with wholesome plant-based foods to promote overall wellbeing.
Following these tips facilitates better health by ensuring you obtain all the necessary nutrients from your plant-based diet. A well-rounded and varied diet provides essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals, reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Additionally, plant-based diets tend to be lower in saturated fats and cholesterol, promoting heart health. They also tend to be higher in fibre, which aids digestion and helps maintain a healthy weight. By following these tips, you can support your body with the nutrients it needs while enjoying the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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