FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS A PLANT-BASED DIET?
A plant-based diet is all about relying on plant foods — fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices.
WHY SHOULD I CONSIDER A PLANT-BASED DIET?
Plant-based diets have been linked with many health benefits, including lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. In addition, people on plant-based diets for extended periods of time weigh less than people that aren’t on plant-based diets. You can also reduce your carbon footprint by following a vegan diet. In fact, the Adventist Health Study 2 found that plant-based diets have half the carbon footprint of non-plant-based diets.
IS A PLANT-BASED DIET NUTRITIONALLY ADEQUATE FOR EVERYONE?
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reports that plant-based diets are nutritionally adequate during all life stages — childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and older adulthood. In fact, research shows that these diets can offer many health advantages. The important thing is to plan your plant-based diet in accordance with nutritional guidelines in order to meet your needs for all essential nutrients.
IS IT DIFFICULT TO GET ENOUGH PROTEIN ON A PLANT-BASED DIET?
It’s completely possible to meet your protein needs on a plant-based diet. Most plant foods contain proteins — some are very rich in protein and contain amounts comparable to meat. For example, cooked fish such as Cod contains 18g of protein per 100g, however black beans contain 21g of protein per 100g, the same amount of protein is roughly found in 1 ounce of lean meat or poultry. Nuts and seeds, including walnuts, almonds, hemp and chia, also are good sources of protein. Grains and vegetables can contribute a good amount of protein to your diet as well. It’s essential to make sure that you include good sources of protein at each meal. Check out our protein guide resource in the Or-Ways Learning section to learn more about the recommended daily allowance for protein.
DOES HAVING A PLANT-BASED DIET MAKE YOU DEFICIENT IN SOME NUTRIENTS?
A plant-based diet can meet all your nutritional needs with a variety of grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. Please visit our Or-Ways Learning section for more information on nutrition from plant-based foods including calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12. It’s also important to remember that Plant-based diets are generally higher in vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals compared with non-plant-based diets.
DOESN’T A PLANT-BASED DIET REQUIRE A LOT OF PLANNING AND PREPARATION?
A plant-based diet can be very simple. There are thousands of easy to prepare plant-based foods like whole grain breakfast cereals with plant-based milk, sandwiches, veggie burgers, pasta dishes, pizza, whole grain dishes, legumes, sauces, stews, and vegetable dishes.
AREN’T PLANT-BASED DIETS BORING AND BLAND?
Quite the opposite — a plant-based diet can be tasty, delicious and satisfying. While meat choices are limited to a handful of varieties, such as beef, pork and chicken — there are literally thousands of plant foods that come in a variety of colours, textures and flavours. There is no end to the combinations of flavours that you can create with whole plant foods. Plant-based foods prepared with organic herbs and spices can have your tongue wagging!
I’D LIKE TO TRY A PLANT-BASED DIET. HOW DO I GET STARTED?
If you’re considering a plant-based diet, you might want to get started by going meatless once or twice a week to see how simple and delicious this eating style can be.
It’s simple to start out the day eating plants — just choose whole grains, cereals, pancakes, nuts, seeds, beans, or plant-based milk, fruits and veggies.
Your options for lunch may include lentils with mushroom bolognese, grilled vegetable salad or sandwich with a plant-based soup.
Try something creative for dinner, such as quinoa with chickpea and sweet potato curry, vegetable lasagne or lentil stew paired with whole grains and a salad.
These suggestions are just the tip of the Iceberg.
If you are interested in trying a plant-based diet please contact one of our accredited nutritionists for advice below.