So I tried a plant based diet for about a year (I’m only writing about it now). I honestly enjoyed it, although my dishes were very simple and repetitive. Trying to live a zero waste lifestyle along with a plant based diet is why this meal plan became repetitive. I did notice that I slept better and felt better overall. I admit, it wasn’t perfect nor was it simple to NOT crave certain foods, but since I was moving from a vegetarian diet to a plant based diet, I didn’t have far to go.
What is a plant based diet?
A whole-food, plant-based diet is centered on whole, unrefined, or minimally refined plants. It’s a diet based on fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes; and it excludes or minimizes meat (including chicken and fish), dairy products, and eggs, as well as highly refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil.
It’s a diet based on fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes; and it excludes or minimizes meat (including chicken and fish), dairy products, and eggs, as well as highly refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil.
- Fruit: mangoes, bananas, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, oranges, cherries, etc.
- Vegetables: lettuce, collard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, carrots, etc.
- Tubers and starchy vegetables: potatoes, yams, yucca, winter squash, corn, green peas, etc.
- Whole grains: millet, quinoa, barley, rice, whole wheat, oats, etc.
- Legumes: kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, lima beans, cannellini beans, black beans, etc.
These starchy foods are the foods that people around the world have thrived on for generations: tubers like potatoes and sweet potatoes, starchy vegetables like corn and peas; whole grains like brown rice, millet, quinoa, and buckwheat; and legumes like chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, and lima beans.
No food is a single nutrient, and we should never think of foods in that way. Any given food has countless nutrients. What matters most is the overall nutrient profile, i.e., the whole package. Whole, plant-based foods contain all the essential nutrients (with the exception of Vitamin B12), and in proportions that are more consistent with human needs than animal-based or processed foods.
If you’re looking to lower your cholesterol I suggest cutting out the sources of cholesterol from your diet. One way is to simply cut out foods sourced from animals or lessen the consumption of animal fats. A plant based diet has many benefits and you’ll be able to feel your body change in the very beginning of the nutritional shift.