There are many different eating philosophies you can embrace. You might choose one or another out of necessity or a desire to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. One that is backed by a lot of scientific research is plant-based eating. If you’ve decided to follow a plant-based diet, here’s what that means, what it can do for you, and a list of meal-planning ideas for vegan and vegetarian options.
What is a Plant-Based Diet?
Definitions of what is considered a plant-based diet are somewhat vague. There are several interpretations of what fits into the plant-based diet category. For example, vegan, vegetarian, and Mediterranean diets all qualify as plant-based diets. No matter which one you choose, you’ll find that your options have grown significantly due to the popularity of these diets. Health concerns and even worries about global warming have led more people to embrace eating habits that focus more on plant-based proteins instead of animal ones.
Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet
If you’re considering a plant-based diet, here are some of the benefits of choosing this type of plan:
- More fiber — Vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains are high in fiber, which is something that about 95% of us don’t get enough of. Research shows that there are tons of benefits to eating more fiber, like a lower risk of developing heart disease and Type 2 diabetes and healthier body weights.
- Weight loss — Research shows that people who adhere to a plant-based diet tend to have lower body fat percentages. A high-fiber diet can help you feel satisfied and still allow you to lose weight.
- Lowered health risks — Many people who choose plant-based diets end up eating more fiber, which can reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and even some cancers.
- Easy-to-fix protein sources — Plant-based diets give you an incredible number of options for simple and no-cook protein sources. Lentils and dried and canned beans are healthy protein options that you can keep on your shelf. Seeds and nuts as well as whole grains like quinoa and brown rice, are other healthy and simple options.
Grocery Shopping for Your Plant-Based Diet
You might hear some experts advising you to shop around the perimeter of the grocery store to get the healthiest options. While it’s true that the outside aisles are where you’ll find produce and some dairy items, there are a lot of nutritious fools you’ll want for your plant-based diet located in the store’s inner aisles. There you’ll find things like oats, brown rice, and quinoa as well as nuts and seeds, canned and dried beans, and frozen vegetables and fruit. Here are a few items to put on your plant-based diet grocery shopping list:
- Whole grains — Higher in fiber and protein, whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, and wheat pasta are excellent options.
- Nuts and seeds — Add some walnuts, chia seeds, flax, almonds, and nut butters to your list to use as snacks and in your favorite recipes.
- Legumes — Dried or canned, lentils and beans are some of the best sources of fiber and protein.
- Fruits and vegetables — Whether you choose fresh or frozen, make sure you stock up on fruits and vegetables to make a part of every meal.
- Soy — Edamame and tofu are great high-protein soy options.
Some Vegan and Vegetarian Meal Planning Ideas
Fill up on your favorite meals that provide a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. Here are some options that are simple to make.
What about snacks and desserts, you ask? Here are a few options:
Nick’s of Clinton Can Help With Your Meal Planning
At Nick’s of Clinton, we’re here to help support any type of diet you choose. Our community grocery store has everything you need to create a delicious vegan or vegetarian menu for tonight or the coming week. We have the freshest produce and an amazing selection of high-quality cheese and dairy items. We also offer healthy pre-made meals for days you don’t want to cook yourself. To learn more about our store, give us a call at (301) 843-4825 or visit our Waldorf location today.