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HEALTH BENEFITS

Did you know that by eating plant-based food for 3 months, you can save the equivalent of up to 187.5 kg of CO₂, more than 115,000 litres of water, 9 animal lives and 240m₂ of land?

We all know that a plant-based diet offers health benefits, so it contains lots of unsaturated fats, and less cholesterol and saturated fats than other diets. And each day world health authorities are encouraging plant-based food, by eating less meat and more vegetables, legumes, and fruits.

Intensive livestock and fishing causes unnecessary suffering to billions of chickens, cows and even pigs, fish and other animals every year. A plant-based diet reduces the number of animals living in these dire conditions, since the average diet of a western person includes eating thousands of animals in their lifetime, most of which are sourced from factory farms.

Fonts: fao.org and proveg.com

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VEGETARIAN DIET

Vegetarian diet variety
Vegetarian diets come in lots of shapes and sizes, and you should choose the version that works best for you.

  • Semi-vegetarian or flexitarian includes: eggs, dairy foods, and occasionally meat, poultry, fish, and seafood.
  • Pescatarian includes: eggs, dairy foods, fish, and seafood, but no meat or poultry.
  • Vegetarian: (sometimes referred to as lacto-ovo vegetarian) includes: eggs and dairy foods, but no meat, poultry, fish, or seafood.
  • Vegan: includes no animal foods.
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VEGETARIAN, FLEXITARIAN OR VEGAN

But, what does plant-based, vegetarian, flexitarian or vegan mean?
And what’s the meaning of vegetable protein, allergen, or gluten free?

Some of these words or concepts are often used, and we use some of them in this site. That’s why we will try to help to
understand more of this world.

Plant-based focus on foods primarily from plants. This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans. It doesn’t mean that you are vegetarian or vegan and never eat meat or dairy. Rather, you are proportionately choosing more of your foods from plant sources.

Plant-based eating patterns are healthy.
Much nutrition research has examined plant-based eating patterns such as the Mediterranean diet and a vegetarian diet. The Mediterranean diet has a foundation of plant-based foods; it also includes fish, poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt a few times a week, with meats and sweets less often. Vegetarian diets have also been shown to support health.Plant-based diets offer all the necessary protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals for optimal health, and are often higher in fiber and phytonutrients. However, some vegans may need to add a supplement (specifically vitamin B12) to ensure they receive all the nutrients required.

Fonts: Katherine D. McManus, MS, RD, LDN

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8 WAYS

Here are some tips to help you get started on a plant-based diet.

  • Eat lots of vegetables. Fill half your plate with vegetables at lunch and dinner.
    Make sure you include plenty of colors in choosing your vegetables. Enjoy vegetables as a snack with hummus, salsa, or guacamole.
  • Change the way you think about meat. Have smaller amounts. Use it as a garnish instead of a centerpiece.
  • Choose good fats. Fats in olive oil, olives, nuts and nut butters, seeds, and avocados are particularly healthy choices.
  • Cook a vegetarian meal at least one night a week. Build these meals around beans, whole grains, and vegetables.
  • Include whole grains for breakfast. Start with oatmeal, quinoa, buckwheat, or barley. Then add some nuts or seeds along with fresh fruit.
  • Go for greens. Try a variety of green leafy vegetables such as kale, collards, Swiss chard, spinach, and other greens each day. Steam, grill, braise, or stir-fry to preserve their flavor and nutrients.
  • Build a meal around a salad. Fill a bowl with salad greens such as romaine, spinach, Bibb, or red leafy greens. Add an assortment of other vegetables along with fresh herbs, beans, peas, or tofu.
  • Eat fruit for dessert. A ripe, juicy peach, a refreshing slice of watermelon, or a crisp apple will satisfy your craving for a sweet bite after a meal.

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