There are so many inspiring reasons to eat a plant-based diet. Some people choose to go plant-based for health reasons. Others prefer how plant products taste or how a healthy diet makes them feel inside. So, what is a plant-based diet — and how is it different from other similar philosophies?
In this guide, you’ll discover what it means to eat plant-based and what makes the diet unique. Keep yourself inspired with ideas for plant-based treats and snacks like fair trade chocolate and premium plant-based chocolate bars. Soon, you’ll know whether a plant-based diet is right for you.
Definition of a Plant-Based Diet
A plant-based diet is mostly made up of plants or plant-based ingredients. According to Columbia University, some essential components of a plant-based diet include fresh fruits and vegetables. This diet also features whole grains and nuts. Incorporate seeds and legumes like beans and peas for more balanced meals and snacks Plant-based foods like mushrooms and protein-rich fungi are an excellent part of a plant diet. Algae is even considered an edible, protein-laden plant product.
If it’s plant-based, it can be part of a plant-based diet. However, you can be creative and customize your meal plans and choices. No complex rules exist on how many plant-based products should be in your meal or on your plate. It’s also not essential to choose certain plant-based products. Those who follow a plant diet focus on filling most of their plate with plants.
How It’s Different from Other Diets
Plants fuel plant-based diets, but they’re not necessarily a vegetarian diet. When you eat plant-based, you get most of your nutrients from plant sources. Vegetarians eat plant-based meals, but they don’t consume any animal meat. People who eat a plant-based diet may still eat animal proteins such as chicken or beef.
A vegan diet avoids all animal products, including meat and dairy. Vegans also avoid eating chicken eggs and other animal eggs. People who eat a plant-based diet may still add eggs or dairy to their meals. They may also allow it in their packaged products. Vegans have a philosophy of not harming animals as much as is practicable, so they also avoid leather and beauty products made with animal ingredients.
How to Know if Products Are Plant-Based
There are different ways to decide if a product is made from plants. If you’re shopping for food in-stores or online, be on the lookout for certain words and labels. It may also depend on where you shop. Some of the best ways to find plant-based items for your diet include:
- Look at the Product Packaging
Check for plant-based or vegan labels on product packaging. The item may also say it’s plant-based or vegan on the back label near the ingredients list. Some organizations, like the National Science Foundation (NSF), offer plant-based certification for eligible products.
- Shop with Plant-Friendly Companies
Many brands and companies are known for their plant-based products, so you can always conduct an Internet search for plant-based snacks or ingredients. These days, you can find something for every chef or foodie. There are even plant-based baking essentials and tantalizing chocolate gift boxes for those who prefer not to consume so much meat or dairy. Ask friends or family about their favorite plant-based stores and food items. With some research, you will find a few options to try when making your next purchases.
- Buy More Whole Foods
Whole foods are unprocessed or hardly processed. When you buy whole fruits and vegetables, you know they’re plant-based. You can also rest assured you’re eating a plant-forward diet when you consume nuts and whole grains. Seeds and plant oils are whole foods. Other choices include beans and lentils.
Starting a Plant-Based Diet
Now that you know more about plant-based foods, consider some plant products you already like to eat. Create a list of everything tantalizing your tastebuds, and then add your favorites to your grocery list. If you want to plan before you head to the store, research a few plant-based recipes online. Learn how to incorporate them into meal plans. You can also browse the Internet for ideas for tasty plant-based snacks.
Now, it’s time to find new plant-based products to broaden your culinary horizons. If you need a springboard, a plant-based grocery list or vegan foods master list is sure to inspire. There are many items to discover and enjoy, from tempeh to tofu.
How to Find Plant-Based Treats and Snacks
According to the Mayo Clinic, eating plant-based meals offers many health benefits. However, plant diets aren’t only for mealtime. It’s easy to take your quest for a plant-based life to another level. You’ll find delicious, premium plant products for dessert and treat time, including chocolate baking discs and confections. If you’re into fair trade products, it’s easy to find plant-derived dark chocolates in various flavors. These delights are created by nature and pack an intense, fudgy flavor.
If you’re a fan of milk chocolate but prefer to eat a plant-based diet, oat milk chocolate is an excellent choice. Take some time for creamy indulgence with oat milk and caramel flavor. Or create a rich moment with a delicious plant-based dark chocolate variety pack. These are excellent ways to acquaint yourself with plant-based delights that make the perfect dessert. With a little experimentation, it’s easy to find plant products for every part of your day.
Discovering a Plant-Based Diet
A plant-based diet can be wholesome and healthy, but it doesn’t have to be complicated or boring. These days, it’s easier than ever to get fresh produce and premium snacks primarily made from plants. If you like the idea of a plant-based diet, double-check product packaging, and search out whole foods and simple ingredient lists.
Find brands and companies who are all about making plant-based products. Then, start eating your new plant-based diet. By experimenting with different foods and meal plans, you’re sure to find an approach to a plant-based diet that works for you. Who knows? You may even find a new favorite treat or snack!