75% of Americans have made diet changes within the past decade in initiative toward a healthier lifestyle. Last year, 125 million Americans followed a diet plan.
Although the variety of diets is infinite, plant-based routines are on the rise. 43 million Americans eat plant-based alternatives on a regular basis, and nearly 1 in 3 eat plant-based protein daily – including tofu, soy, beans, nuts, and legumes.
It has also been discovered that eating plants is a likelier method in improving health and reducing disease, all while being environmentally friendly. Restaurants are also incorporating plant-based meals into their menus, widening its availability.
In 2019 – Qdoba Subway, Red Robin, KFC, Dunkin’ Donuts, Burger King all introduced plant-based options. Moreover, Walt Disney World and Disneyland unveiled over 400 plant-based options in every dining location.
Contributing to the Plant-Based Diet’s popularity, Beyonce and Jay-Z offered fans free concert tickets (for up to 30 years) to promote a plant-based diet they follow themselves.
However, 86% of Americans who regularly eat plant-based protein do not consider themselves to be vegan or vegetarian. What does plant-based actually mean?
In the words of Michael Pollan, “Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much.” A whole-food, plant-based diet actually means eating minimally processed whole foods, maximizing your fruit & vegetable intake, and eliminating – or limiting – your meat, dairy, and egg intake.
On the contrary, most Americans have no clue what a plant-based diet means, although nearly 3 in 4 consumers have heard of plant-based diets. >30% think a plant-based diet means veganism, ~20% think vegetarianism, 30% say minimally-processed, vegetarian or vegan, <10% assume its maximizing fruits and veggies, and 10% are unsure. Saying this, more than half are interested in learning more about plant-based eating.
So why follow a plant-based diet? The health benefits and weight loss aid.
1 in 4 Americans seek health benefits from their food. In fact, the primary benefit consumers seek from their diet is weight loss. The plant-based diet caters to this more than most diets simply because reducing your consumption of animal products may increase weight loss.
For example – over 18 weeks, dieters lost more weight on average when choosing healthier diets. According to a study, a plant-based diet is likely to produce better results after 1 year than any other diet alone. This is measured by reducing your Body Mass Index (BMI), diminishing health-related risk factors, and lowering cholesterol.
Knowing this information, a whole-food plant-based diet may reduce inflammation factors associated with cancer and heart disease.
The health benefits of eating plants vary from lower risk of heart disease & hypertension, dementia and Alzheimer’s, Type 2 Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), and more.
In one study, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy reduced blood pressure. In fact, a study proved diet change to reduce blood pressure 2x more for subjects who were already hypertensive.
Along with this, plant-based diets are better for the environment, which impacts our health. Although only 5% follow an entirely plant-based diet, anyone can reap its benefits.
But be sure to talk to your doctor before making any major lifestyle modifications. Learn more about the benefits a plant-based diet provides, below.