Plant Based Food from Real Foods

What does a plant based diet consist of?

It’s based on plants. That means fruit, vegetables, tubers (roots), pulses, grains, nuts and seeds. It focuses on wholefoods and minimal processing. So, for example, while French fries are made from a plant, they are NOT a plant-based food, retaining very little of the original plant - the potato. Whereas a baked potato would still be plant-based. It is about maximising your nutrient intake from natural sources and avoiding nutrient-poor processed foods.

Do you have to be vegetarian to follow a plant based diet?

No. It depends on the individual the exact breakdown of the diet, some people like to have some lean meat or fish in their plant-based diet, other people prefer to be vegetarian or vegan. If you’re eating small amount of dairy products, fish, chicken and red meat once or twice a month, you’re basically eating the Mediterranean diet – a plant-based diet!

Is a plant based diet good for you?

Yes. Multiple studies show that diets based around wholefoods and plant based foods are healthy. Plant-based diets are cost-effective, low-risk interventions that may lower body mass index, blood pressure, HbA1C, and cholesterol levels. They may also reduce the number of medications needed to treat chronic diseases and lower ischemic heart disease mortality rates. “Plant-based diets are recommended to all patients, especially those with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or obesity.” From The Permanente Journal. Retrieved NIH 19.09.17

What are some examples of plant based foods

Fruit, vegetables, pulses, grains, nuts and seeds are at the basis of a plant based diet. Fruit and vegetables includes fresh, frozen, tinned and dried goods (although preferably not sweetened or additionally processed where possible). Pulses and grains include staples such lentils, peas, beans, wheat and oats along with newly popular ones like quinoa, canihua and cacao. That’s right, cacao IS a plant, it’s the processing that turns it into chocolate!

What’s the difference between a plant based diet and a vegan one?

Vegans aim to exclude all animal products from their diets and from their lives. A person following a plant based diet may very well still wear leather or use beauty products tested on animals, a vegan would not. If all a vegan ate one day was chips and cake, as long as the cake used an egg substitute and no dairy and the chips were fried in vegetable oil, that diet is still vegan, it would however, not be defined as plant based.