While Britons still struggle with eating healthy, more are becoming aware of its importance. A 2017 IRI study revealed that over 70% of shoppers bought healthy food. Around 43% of them spent on organic food.
These days, one can take training for a natural chef, which may pave for a career in the health industry. But a person may also enroll merely to learn more about the essence of nutrition, especially plant-based eating.
But, First, What’s a Plant-Based Diet?
A plant-based diet is a lifestyle or practice where most of the calories and nutrients come from plants. These include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and grains.
The term itself is broad and may cover the following:
- Vegetarianism, which is the non-consumption of animal-based meats. These include meat, poultry, and fish.
- Veganism, which is the non-consumption of animal-based meats and other related products. Examples include fish, pork, poultry, dairy, and eggs.
- Ovo-vegetarianism, which is consuming mostly plant produce and eggs. It excludes eating animal-based meats.
- Pescetarianism, which is eating vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, seeds, grains, and fish only. They may also consume dairy.
There’s no specific percentage to follow for a diet to be plant-based. Some, though, suggests that plants should account for at least 75% of a person’s meal plan. It’s also ideal to combine different types of produce. This way, they can maximise the nutritional benefits of the food.
What Are the Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet?
A growing number of studies highlight the benefits of eating a plant-based meal plan:
1. It May Decrease the Risk of Heart Disease
Cardiovascular disorders are responsible for over 25% of deaths in the UK each year. Eating plants may help lower the odds.
In a 2019 study by the American Heart Association, following this meal plan decreased the risks of cardiovascular events by 16%. These included strokes, heart failures, and heart attacks. The individual was also over 25% less likely to die from heart disease than those who consumed the least.
One of the primary reasons is a link between red meat and trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO). TMAO comes from a metabolite of the gut bacteria. These microorganisms, meanwhile, feast on choline, which is common in meat-based products, including eggs.
A JAMA study showed an association between high levels of TMAO with premature death and increased risks of cardiovascular disease.
2. It May Reduce the Odds of Type 2 Diabetes
Unlike type 1 diabetes, which is an autoimmune condition, type 2 diabetes is more of a metabolic disorder. It usually develops due to poor lifestyle choices, such as excessive consumption of refined sugar, sodium, and fat.
A 2016 Harvard University research revealed that following a plant-based diet might help cut down the risk for this disease. Strict adherence to it might reduce the odds by 20% compared to those who had the least compliance.
Type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for other health problems, such as glaucoma and chronic kidney disease (CKD). This is because the metabolic disease can damage healthy nerves.
3. It May Lower the Odds of Chronic Diseases Among Obese Children
Childhood obesity is harmful because it may result in the early diagnosis of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disorders and type 2 diabetes. The good news is it may be easier to correct than adult obesity.
Besides sports, eating a plant-based diet may help. In a 2015 study by the Cleveland Clinic, obese children who followed the lifestyle saw a significant improvement in body mass index (BMI). They also reported better insulin sensitivity and lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Granted, if one isn’t used to it, it may be difficult to transition, but that’s what courses like training for a natural chef are for. In the end, eating healthy does offer a lot of incentives. These benefits make the challenges worth it.