If you're interested in starting a plant-based diet to boost your overall health, you're on the right track. Research shows that a diet focused on whole grains, fruits, veggies, and lean proteins significantly lowers the risk of heart disease and many other illnesses. Here are some pointers to help you get started.
Don’t Start Off on the Wrong Foot
- Take it slow and steady by gradually integrating plant-based meals into your diet. This is the best method for sticking with it in the long run.
- Stock up on produce rather than processed plant-based meats and snack foods (veggie burgers, chips, crackers, etc.).
- Start with foods you already enjoy. Not a fan of raw, leafy greens? Skip them altogether and explore other options in the produce aisle.
- Make sure you’re getting a balanced diet with all the right nutrients by using a Healthy Food Plate guide.
Don’t Run on Empty
Keep your belly full and happy by focusing on fiber-rich fruits and veggies such as beans and legumes. Also, don’t forget about hunger-saving fats and proteins, which include nuts, seeds, nut butters, oils, and avocados.
Do Skip Sugary Beverages
Healthy beverage choices can make all the difference in your overall health. Choose naturally unsweetened drinks (water, unsweetened tea, coffee, etc.), not sugary or artificially sweetened beverages such as fruit juice, sports drinks, and soda.
Do Know Your "Why"
To stay focused, be mindful of your health goals and the many benefits of a produce-heavy diet, which include improving your heart health, lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation, and minimizing cancer risk.