Plants. More than house decoration? You betcha. A plant-based diet can mean many different things, but the gist of it is just like it sounds– it’s a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes – i.e. plants! It typically excludes animal products like meat, poultry, fish, and, to some extent, eggs, dairy, and even honey.
What is a Plant-Based Diet?
So what’s the 4-1-1 behind this type of diet? Well, that depends on how deep your plant-based diet goes. A vegan diet, for example, is a stricter diet that refrains from any animal products, including dairy, eggs, and honey (since it’s made from bees). On the other end of the spectrum, there’s the lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, which is a little more lenient and flexible with animal products. This diet allows for the consumption of dairy and eggs, and typically extends to honey as well. While these are just two variations of this diet, there are many others worth exploring.
Why Choose Plant-Based?
So why choose a plant-based diet? There are many reasons someone might abstain from eating meat. The most common of which is ethical reasons, as some consider eating meat to be inhumane. But there are other reasons to choose this diet, too. In a world of diminishing resources, a plant-based diet is actually more environmentally friendly, as it takes fewer resources to produce fruits, vegetables, and grains than it does to produce meat. For others, there may be health considerations driving you toward a diet change, and a well-balanced plant-based diet is rich in health, promoting nutrients from foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans.
Regardless of why you choose this diet, with proper guidelines and smart food choices, it can be a perfectly healthy choice. Just remember that on any restrictive diet, it’s important to make sure you’re still hitting all the necessary nutritional elements to keep your body healthy. With a plant-based diet, protein isn’t coming from meat, so be sure to shop at ALDI for lots of beans and legumes, seeds (like chia, flax, and sunflower seeds), grains (quinoa, brown rice, and rolled oats), and a variety of nuts. For example, adding a cup of peas to your favorite pasta dish or a cup of cooked quinoa to a salad is an easy way to add an extra 8 grams of protein to your meal.
Get Started with ALDI
Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or somewhere in-between – it’s entirely up to you. Just be sure you consult with a health care professional before making any radical changes, and to ensure you are getting all the nutrients you and your body need to thrive. And for any and all of your plant-based needs, check out the amazing selection at ALDI.
Party with these plant-based recipes:
What’s your favorite plant-based meal? Tell us in the comments!