Why You Need a Plant Based Diet to Lose Weight

A plant based diet or simply a plant based diet is an diet based mostly or completely out of plants. Plant-derived foods are foods that are derived from plants without having animal-derived ingredients or animal-derived products added. While a plant based diet generally avoids or at least limits animal meat, it’s not necessarily completely vegan. This article will explain what it means to be vegan and why some people choose to take on a plant based diet but not others.

Plant-Based Diet for Weight Loss

A close up of some grass

Vegans and vegetarians do not consume animal products or foods that are prepared, processed, stuffed, treated, or otherwise treated with animal products (meat, milk, eggs, honey, leather, fur, and tropical fish) and products derived from animals (fish, dairy products, and animal fat). The word’vegan’ was first used in Oxford in 1947 and since then has become widely accepted throughout the world as a description of one’s personal beliefs and practices regarding animal exploitation and cruelty. In United States, the term vegetarian was used first and remains the most common of the two. In general, a plant based diet generally does not exclude any type of animal product, however, the term is broad and is used to describe many plant eating habits and lifestyles.

There are some basic similarities between a plant based diet and a vegetarian or vegan diet. Both diets require consuming certain types of carbohydrates, including complex carbohydrates like oats, whole grains, and legumes. Both diets also require avoiding certain foods, including red meats and processed cereals. However, on a plant based diet there is generally no need to consume fortified cereals, vitamin B12, or other supplements to keep a person healthy.

Most of us have heard of the controversial claim that refined grains, sugar, and meat are responsible for many diseases throughout the world. This is based on the erroneous assumption that there is some inherent health problem with any type of animal product. However, this argument is largely unfounded and has no scientific basis. The only thing that is true is that it can be hard to get enough vitamin B12 in your diet if you are a vegetarian or vegan.

One of the worst ways to get your vitamin B12 is through meat products. The reason that this is so bad is because we are not able to digest the fat in meat very well. Also, the stomach acid from the meat can actually irritate the lining of the small intestine. If you eat a lot of red meat over a long period of time, then you are bound to experience a deficiency of vitamin B12. Fortunately, there are still some good options for getting vitamin B12, including fortified cereals.

One great option is nutritional yeast flakes. Nutritional yeast is made out of wheat grains, which is why it works so well with a vegetarian diet. However, the main advantage of nutritional yeast flakes is that they are full of all the vitamins and nutrients that you need to maintain healthy bones, teeth, skin, and brain. Most importantly, nutritional yeast flakes are also a rich source of protein, which makes up for about 30% of what you need to maintain good health. Nutritional yeast is usually found in health food stores and online.

Another great way to get the amount of vitamin B12 you need on a daily basis is to eat a variety of enriched grain foods. This can include such things as brown rice, quinoa, bulgur, whole-wheat bread, and popcorn. Since refined grains are not broken down properly in your digestive system, you wind up getting an excess of refined carbohydrates which is never a good thing when it comes to a balanced diet.

End Note

A banana sitting on top of a wooden cutting board

Last but not least, another great way to ensure that you get all the nutrients your body needs on a daily basis is to include a variety of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. If you happen to live in a large city or even a small town, you probably have a garden and access to fresh fruit and vegetables. The key is to find creative ways to make your veggies and fruits available to you. For instance, why not grow some squash plants and use the squash to make tomato sauce? Or, why not harvest and store herbs like basil, parsley, and cilantro and make fresh basil tea with them? The possibilities are endless when it comes to adding a variety of plant based foods to your diet.

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