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3 Reasons to Go on a Plant-Based Diet

Elizabeth Renter
by
December 25th, 2013
Updated 12/25/2013 at 1:42 am
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food vegan girl 263x164 3 Reasons to Go on a Plant Based DietThe benefits of eating a plant-based diet isn’t all hype; it can be a wonderful step toward better health. If you want to add animal-based protein from time-to-time, that’s okay—this isn’t a hardline vegetarian lifestyle. Plant-based living refers to a way of eating where the overwhelming majority of your calories come from unprocessed plants. And there are numerous benefits to it. The whole concept of a “plant-based” diet is appealing to many people who would normally shy away from becoming a vegetarian.

A plant-based diet is flexible and ultimately allows you to eat animal products if you choose them. But it treats those animal products as an occasional treat or even a condiment, added for flavor but not for a main source of calories. This is in sharp contrast to the standard American diet (SAD), where meat and white potatoes rule. There are many benefits to adding more plants to your regimen.

Here are 3 great reasons to adopt a plant-based diet.

1. It’s Good for Your Heart, Brain, and Overall Health

Eating meat is associated with higher rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease. While about half of the population will develop high blood pressure by age 60, vegetarians experience relatively no increase in blood pressure with age. It is also easier to maintain a healthier weight on a plant-based diet, because plants are lower in calories than meat and processed foods.

A healthier body weight decreases your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other obesity-related health problems. Keep in mind, we aren’t only talking about removing meat from your diet, but also removing processed foods. These foods are similarly associated with disease and illness, problems that can be reduced or eliminated altogether by increasing plant consumption.

2. Save Money and Support Local Farms

Plant-based diets require you to eat more at home, which means you’ll be saving money by visiting restaurants less. Fast food and sit-down restaurants can be expensive and are most often harmful to your health, not to mention their supply of plant-based recipes are sorely lacking. You can spend less to gain far more with a plant-based diet involving home food preparation.

When you adopt a plant-based diet, you can get the most bang for your health buck by shopping at farmer’s markets. You’ll be eating local, in-season, and supporting the smaller family farms that this country was raised on. The fewer dollars you contribute to the processed foods industry, the more you are contributing to local farmers.

3. Help the Environment

Factory farms produce 100 times more waste than every single person in the United States combined. The amount of waste produced by these factories is in such mass quantities that it is virtually impossible to clean up properly. Much of this waste is dumped into the water supply, drastically increasing overall water pollution as well as contributing to the pollution found in drinking water. By going more plant-based, you’ll be helping to move toward a healthier planet and reduce the ‘need’ to cruel factory farms.

What’s more, “it takes about 15 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of beef and about 5 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of chicken”.

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  • RealityCheck

    I like the “SAD” acronym. Nice propagandizing there. Anyway, meat and “white” (huh?) potatoes are not the most popular food items. In fact, fruit is #2 of all foods consumed.

    Admit it, this is not true journalism. This is you espousing your personal biases.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/10/31/fruit-increase-juice-decreases/3308427/

  • Bert

    This article is so far off the mark it’s pathetic ! More vegan propaganda with nothing to back it up.
    Eating vegetarian is not better for your heart health and won’t keep you from getting a heart attack. Just ask Davie Jones from the Monkee’s… Oh that’s right, you can’t cause he died of a heart attack (RIP) while following a vegetarian diet and even jogged for exercise.
    The lipid hypothesis has never been proven other than false and You can support your local farmer and butcher with free range pastured animals just as easy and they are as far removed from polluting factory farms as you can get and are in fact good for the environment.

    • Natya d’Avelino

      You said “You can support your local farmer and butcher with free range pastured animals just as easy”.

      Well that will certainly not bring food to millions of people, so it’s nice for sometimes, but the vegetarian food is the necessary, and the good for most of humanity.
      Because it is with biologically, ecologically grown vegetarian food that there will not be thousands of them dying of hunger everyday, people get healthy and happy — when there is less pollution, less war, less hunger, and more love. And in this way, no need whatsoever to kill people, as they think they must do, and are doing, because in a vegetarian world for the majority, ecological farms can become joyous beautiful gardens, growing the joy of the plant world and the animal products they give to us, abundantly and enough for all, in contact with the daily lives of humans. Animals make part of those gardens and farms, giving their products, more then their flesh.

      So, if you think among other things, of the thousands who die of hunger everyday, you will see that there’s no reason for name calling,

      • Bert

        Who’s name calling ? The reason why people are starving isn’t due to lack of food because. There is plenty of food to go around. Politics is what is causing the starvation. In the not so distant past small farmers fed the world. Now multinational industries are feeding the world. The cultivation of Annuals, crops like wheat, corn and soya use petroleum based fertilizers and also need fuel to transport said fertilizer to the farms. These industrial farms are eroding and depleting the soil of its nutrients and creating climate change. Small, polyculture farms do not need any fertilizer nor any grains and actually reverse desertification caused by decades of intensive grain and other annuals farming. These animals are grazing on land that is not useful for crop farming. The ruminant animals eat grass, weeds and herbs that no human could digest. I think your concerns are not justified in fact ! Please do more research before posting.

        • Natya d’Avelino

          LOL

          • Bert

            LOL ! HA HA HA !

            • Natya d’Avelino

              I read you saying that vegetable oils are bad, and only animal oils are good. And you wrote vegetable oils are recent inventions.
              Lol There is portuguese olive oil from 2450 and 2850 years old olive trees. Is this the oil you meant is bad for human beings ?

              • Bert

                No, Vegetable seed oils like soy, corn, canola and safflower oils contain mostly PUFA’s (polyunsaturated fatty acids) is what i meant. Olive oil has been used for food for a long time but even in the mediterranean they used a lot of lard and other animal fats as well, especially for cooking. But even olive oil will oxidize under heat or time so it’s better to use your olive oil raw on salads and use saturated fat to cook with since it’s much more stable under heat and lasts longer without going rancid. You kill more animals eating your veggies than you realize. One large steer can feed a family of four for months whereas the plate of veggies and grains that you eat was the cause of death to thousands of small animals and other creatures by the blade of the plow.