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plant-based breakfast

Food trends come and go, but one that seems to stick nowadays are plant-based diets. Why are they so popular and do they actually work? Simply put, they’re popular because some plant-based lifestyles have pretty great health benefits. A study published by the American Heart Association states that those who have higher produce intake have lower chances of suffering from cardiovascular based diseases. So, what are some of the different plant-based diets out there? Let’s find out. 


Vegan

We’ll start with the big one; the Vegan diet. A Vegan lifestyle actively excludes all animal products not only for health reasons, but for environmental and ethical reasons as well. This means the exclusion of all meat, dairy, eggs, and honey from one’s diet. There are a handful of benefits to choosing this diet. It can help you lose weight, lower your blood sugar levels, and improve heart health just to name a few. However, if improperly done, veganism has the potential to lead to nutrient deficiencies. When it comes down to it, we recommend conducting an extensive amount of research and seeking professional advice before switching to a vegan diet.


Whole foods plant based

A Whole Foods Plant Based (WFPB) lifestyle is quite open ended and specific to individuals. However, there are a couple key principles that define what a WFPB diet should ideally consist of. Those defining terms are eating more whole foods, limiting animal consumption, consuming plants, decreasing refined foods and sugars, and purchasing food based on quality. WFPB is comparable to a vegan diet, but it is a bit more lenient. With that being said, it has similar health benefits and risks to veganism. So, if you’re not fully committed to the vegan lifestyle, whole foods plant-based is a great alternative. 


Pegan 

The Pegan diet is a combination of a vegan and paleo diet. This lifestyle emphasizes the consumption of vegetables and fruits, with the addition of meat, fish, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Dr. Mark Hyman created this diet with the intention of having a 75% vegan element and a 25% paleo, meat-based offset. The pros of a pegan diet can include increased heart health, disease prevention, and reduced inflammation. Although in theory this diet seems sustainable, some people who have attempted this report that it’s expensive, time consuming, and unnecessarily cuts out certain food groups. 


Fruitarian 

The fruitarian diet is perhaps the most controversial of the pack. Fruitarians consume mostly, you guessed it, fruit. Most followers stick to eating fruits 50% to 75% of the time, but cases exist where that number will jump to 90%. The rest of the diet should consist of nuts, vegetables, seeds, and grains. Although this diet has gained some attraction, it is not fully supported by healthcare professionals. There is a rather small list of benefits that include satiety and better hydration. However, the negative effects are prominent. Some cons include nutrient deficiencies, tooth decay, unhealthy weight loss, and a risk of general health complications. 


These are only 4 of the many plant forward diets that you can find out there. It’s safe to say that yes, we should generally be leaning towards buying more items from the produce section, but know that these lifestyles are not meant for everyone. If you’re thinking about heading in this direction but don’t want to fully commit, start by adding more vegetables into your existing diet and then slowly work towards a plant-forward diet that works best for you.


References

  1. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/JAHA.119.012865
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vegan-diet-guide#section1
  3. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/plant-based-diet-guide#bottom-line
  4. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/pegan-diet
  5. https://www.verywellfit.com/the-fruitarian-diet-4682619#how-it-works
  6. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/fruitarian-diet-is-it-safe-or-really-healthy-for-you/