Does plant-based mean vegetarian?
Plant-based eating means focusing on eating foods from plant sources, such as vegetables, grains, and legumes. People who choose to eat this way may still eat meat and dairy, they do so in smaller amounts.
Why adopt this style of eating?
Decades of research on plant-based eating have shown considerable health benefits such as lower risks of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.
Which diets in particular are recommended?
The Mediterranean and DASH (dietary approaches to stop hypertension) diets have both been well-studied. Both focus on vegetables, whole grains, and fruit with smaller amounts of fish, poultry, and dairy.
Is this type of eating complicated to shop for or cook? I don’t have a lot of time…
Not at all. In fact, preparing a meal with whole grains, a legume (such as canned beans), and vegetables can be very quick. Tulane University’s Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine offers recipes and shopping tips on their website: https://culinarymedicine.org/community-class-recipes/
I’m not ready to commit to going fully plant-based. Is there any benefit to doing a little plant-based eating?
Starting small is a good idea. Simply cooking a few meals at home every week instead of eating out can improve our health because there is so much less salt, sugar, and fat in food we cook at home. Harvard’s Culinary Healthcare Education Fundamentals program has some tips for getting started with cooking at home: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/planet-friendly-plant-based-home-cooking-2019021215990