plant-based diet

Plant-based Diet: Its benefits, disadvantages and more

What is a plant-based diet?

A plant-based diet refers to a diet that includes food from plants. Plant-based food includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, cereals,  legumes. A plant-based diet is entirely made of plants and does not include animal meat or animal source food. However, it does not mean that a person following a plant diet avoids all animal products or is a vegan. A plant-based diet includes proteins and calcium that are derived from animal products like milk, curd, cheese, butter, etc. 

A person who follows a plant-based diet can also be called a vegan. But, the difference is vegan is a person who avoids all kinds of animal products. That includes;

A vegan avoids-

  • Milk (as it is an animal product)
  • Cheese
  • Cottage cheese also called paneer
  • Curd 
  • Leather
  • Soap (which includes animal byproducts)
  • Honey

Therefore, a plant-based diet can also include animal products like dairy products, honey, and even eggs. So basically, a plant-based diet has more proportion of plant than animal products.

Types of Plants-based diets

Plant-based diets are common of three types. That includes;

  • Lacto-vegetarian 

It means a person consumes dairy products like milk, curd. But avoids meat and eggs. It is believed that most of the vegetarian come under this category.

  • Vegan

A vegan is a person which exclusively includes only plant-based products in their diet. It avoids all kinds of animal-based products like milk, curd honey, leather.

  • Lacto-ovo-vegetarian

It means a person follows a plant-based diet that includes eggs and dairy products. But avoids meat.

Some are Pescatarian which means a person follows a vegetarian diet and also eats fish.

Hence, vegetarianism means following a plant-based diet. It is denoted by a green mark on a food product or any product. A product that has a green mark on it depicts that it is vegetarian.

Advantages of Plant-based Diet

There can be many advantages as well as disadvantages of a plant-based diet. Let us talk about it one by one.

  • Maintains the blood pressure

The plant includes potassium. Potassium lowers blood pressure.

  • Maintains cholesterol

Plants have zero cholesterol. A person who wants to control their cholesterol can follow a strict plant-based diet as animal products like meat, eggs, and fish increases the chances of high cholesterol.

Therefore, it does not mean that a plant-based diet does not include cholesterol. Eating junk like burgers, french fries, and soft drinks can increase cholesterol levels.

  • Good for heart

Good for the heart as it lowers blood pressure, cholesterol. It also improves the blood sugar level (not if you consume sugary products). It reduces the chances of a heart attack.

  • Helps in weight loss

A plant-based diet helps in reducing weight and therefore controls obesity. A person with a strict plant diet can lose more weight in shorter duration as compared to a person with a nonvegetarian diet.

  • Controls diabetes

A plant diet can reduce the chances of developing diabetes. Furthermore, if a person already has diabetes, it controls the blood sugar level.

There can be many more benefits like it does not put more load on the kidney which reduces the chances of dialysis in the future. Provides glowing skin and many more

Disadvantages of Plant-based diet

  • Deficiency of protein

Milk products provide protein but not sufficient protein and if a person is a vegan then it even becomes more difficult. Meat, eggs provide sufficient protein.

  • Difficulty to gain weight and build muscles

If a person wants to gain weight and build muscles. It becomes difficult for them to achieve their goal as there is a lack of protein.

  • Deficiency of iron, calcium, B12

A person who follows a plant-based diet often lacks iron, calcium, B12. It is very difficult to maintain these without animal products.

  • Need to maintain a proper diet

A person who is a vegetarian eats more junk like burgers, pizza, cold drinks. Which can lead to many drawbacks. A proper diet plan must be made in order to avoid other problems.

A person can be a vegetarian for ethical, cultural, and regional reasons. A person can be a vegan to avoid animal harassment. There can be many reasons. 

Vegetarian and glowing face

A vegetarian diet can also help in getting a glowing face and a perfect body shape. The secret includes-

  • First: As soon as you wake up in the morning drink lukewarm water and lemon. If vegan then avoids honey otherwise include honey for skin benefit.
    This will help in maintaining body shape and a pimple-free face.
  • Second: Drink plant juice which can be spinach or watermelon juice 

Another juices which will help you to maintain every aspect includes-

* Tomato
* Spinach
* Indian gooseberry (amla)
* Bitter gourd
* Bottle gourd

Grind all these and drink in the morning this will help you to stay fit, happy, clear skin, maintaining BP, cholesterol etc.

Lastly, every diet is fine unless you maintain and do not end with any health-related issues. It is everyone’s own choice to be a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ques. What is a plant-based diet?
Ans. Plant based diet includes food derived from plants. It includes vegetables, fruits, cereals, legumes, whole grain.

Ques. Who is a vegan?
Ans. A person who follows a plant-based diet and avoids animal products including milk, honey, leather, silk.

Ques. What is vegetarian?
Ans. A person is considered to be a vegetarian if he follows a plant-based diet and even eats dairy products.

Ques. What are the types of vegetarians?
Ans. Vegan, lacto- vegetarian, lacto-ovo-vegetarian.

Ques. What are the benefits of a plant-based diet?
Ans. It helps in maintaining cholesterol, maintaining BP, weight loss.

Ques. What can be the reasons for being a vegetarian?
There can be ethical, regional, cultural reasons.

Ques. Is there any demerit of being a vegetarian?
Yes, there can be like deficiency of iron, calcium, protein, B12.

Ques. Do restaurants provide pure veg food?
Yes, it offers pure veg food. 60% of the population in India is vegetarian.

Ques. Does being a vegetarian helps in overcoming obesity?
Yes, but only if you follow a good plant-based diet. Many vegetarian eats junks like a burger, pizza, cold drinks and expect themselves to be fit. But that is not true it is equally affected.

Ques. Can I start following a plant-based diet from now, previously being a non-vegetarian?
Yes, you can start it anytime. Legumes cereals will keep you energetic. Do not forget to include necessary ingredients and nuts seeds in your diet.

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