• By Deanna Segrave-Daly
  • In 2018
  • October 17, 2018

3 Tips for Going More Plant-Based

by Felicia Porrazza, MDA, RDN, LDN

Have you heard of the phrase, “Eat a more plant-based diet?”

A plant-based diet is a way of life that can fit within a multitude of eating patterns. Eating more plant-based meals and snacks would mean a greater emphasis on whole, healthy foods (like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes), and minimizing your consumption of animal-based and refined products (1). Increasing the number of plant-based foods consumed has been linked with a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and hypertension and also lowered body weight and inflammation (2.) If you are interested in a more plant-based diet, these 3 tips will get you started!

1 – Start with a Plant-Based Breakfast
Breakfast is an easy way to start eating plant-based because most food options that are eaten for this meal do not contain animal-based proteins. You can try making oatmeal with unsweetened almond milk that is topped with berries and chopped walnuts, avocado toast or even scrambled tofu with veggies!

2 – Add More Plants First
If you want to start small, start by adding versus taking away foods. Add beans to your salad for some fiber and proteins, add an extra side of vegetables at dinner for fiber and antioxidants, or even start your meal with a vegetable-based soup.
    
3 – Swap the Meat in a Favorite Meal
Start eating more plant-based by swapping ingredients in your recipe favorites. Instead of chicken Parmesan try eggplant Parmesan. Normally have a beef chili? Try using lentils instead. Simple swaps can make the idea of going more plant-based realistic and attainable.

For more plant-based recipe inspiration, check out websites like The Vegetarian Resource Group or the Vegetarian Nutrition DPG of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.

References
  1. McMacken M, Shah S. A plant-based diet for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes. Journal of Geriatric Cardiology. 2017 May; 14(5): 342–354. Doi: 10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2017.05.009.
  2. Tuso PJ, Ismail MH, et al. Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets. The Permanente Journal. 2013 Spring; 17(2): 61–66. Doi: 10.7812/TPP/12-085.

Felicia Porrazza is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian with a Masters in Dietetics Administration. She started PorrazzaNutrition to share her knowledge and passion for healthy eating with others. PorrazzaNutrition is all about bringing wellness to clients through in-home and virtual nutrition services (including counseling, support groups, and cooking classes).