What’s it Mean to Have a Plant-Based Diet?

Plant-based diets are growing in popularity because of their link to a number of health benefits. If you’re thinking you could never go plant-based because you can’t – or don’t want to – give up meat, you don’t need to! Having a plant-based diet doesn’t necessarily mean you’re vegetarian. It means that the majority of foods you eat are derived from plants. This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans.
The Mediterranean diet is one example of a plant-based diet that also includes fish, poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt a few times a week, with meats and sweets less often. This way of eating was recently cited as the best overall diet for health and weight management. Studies have shown that following the Mediterranean diet reduces your risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, certain cancers (specifically colon, breast, and prostate cancer), depression, and memory disorders like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Here are descriptions of different versions of a plant-based diet:
  • Semi-vegetarian or flexitarian: includes eggs, dairy foods, occasionally meat, poultry, fish, and seafood.
  • Pescatarian: includes eggs, dairy foods,

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