EVIDENCE BASED NUTRITION

Written by Henry Lau 
Qualified Nutritionist and ISAK Accredited Anthropometrist

EVIDENCE BASED NUTRITION

Written by Henry Lau 
Qualified Nutritionist and ISAK Accredited Anthropometrist

Best Way To Follow A Plant Based Diet: How To Start.​

Plant based diets can be confusing to understand as there are many overlapping rules and definitions between vegetrian and vegan diets.

Consequently, the protocols and health benefits are often mixed up or misunderstood.

This article will outline exactly what you need to know, whether you should go plant base, how to start, the top foods you should eat and avoid.

What To Know Before Starting A Plant Based Diet

Eating more foods such as fruits (1), vegetables (1), nuts (2), legumes (3), wholegrain (4), coffee (5) and tea (6) can lower blood pressure, total and LDL cholesterol.

Eating less meat and animal base products, particularly red meat, processed meats and high fat dairy options will help reduce your caloric intake and aid weight loss.

Completely eliminating all dairy and meat options from your diet is less healthy than consuming it in moderation (7).

A plant base diet isn’t inherently better for weight loss and it will give the same results as any other diet assuming you’ve met your protein and exercise requirements (8,9,10,11).

We discussed the Top Health Benefits Of A Plant Based Diet here, where we distinguish what’s true and false.

Summary:

Decreasing the consumption of meat, particularly red meat, and increasing the consumption of fish and plant derived foods appears to be more beneficial for health than eliminating it completely.

Who Shouldn't Be Going Plant Based

This is not recommended for individuals aiming to get very lean or to lose a lot of weight who already struggle with adhering to a diet.

One important point discussed in The 2020 Ultimate Guide To A Plant Based Diet is that the protein requirements are much higher for weight loss, particularly when exercising at lower body fat percentages.

These protein requirements increase further anytime there is an energy shortfall and especially with added exercise (8,9,10,11).

Anybody with any medical issues need to consult a doctor to see if this is appropriate for you. It is not a solution or a miracle cure for disease(s).

However, there is a lot of evidence (mostly based off Seventh Day Adventists, Mediterranean and Okinawian diets) supporting the health benefits but it is important to note that these people also very active and have a strong social network.The benefits cannot simply be narrowed down  to diet.

Summary

Individuals who are struggling with protein consumption or looking to achieve a lean or athletic body should follow a plant based diet with caution.

Top Plant Based Foods To Start Eating

  • Plant derived foods: Half of your daily food generally comes from starchy carbohydrates, which includes grains, legumes, black beans, fava, soy beans and lentils.
  • Healthy Fat Source: Plant based oils that are high in omega-6, omega 3’s or monounsaturated fats are used instead of animal or animal based oils. For example, corn, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, soybean, flax, perilla, chia and rapeseed oil.
  • Dairy: Milk and dairy consumption is kept to moderate amounts with 2 servings a day. These include yoghurt, milk and cheese.
  • Meat: Fish intake is generally consumed 2-3 times per week Whereas other meat and meat based products, such as red meat, are generally limited to twice per week.
  • Protein Sources: Protein sources are predominantly from grains, beans, lentils, eggs, dairy and some fish.
  • Fruit & Vegetables: 5+ a day of fruit and vegetables
  • Beverages: Coffee, tea and water are recommended. Choose low fat milk over regular milk, avoid adding sugar where possible.
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Top Plant Based Foods To Avoid

High quality plant based foods includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, vegetable oils, coffee and tea.

However, not all plant based foods are high quality.

Here’s a list of low quality plant based foods to have less of:

Fruit Juices: Apple juice, orange juice by itself or mixed into a smoothie will contain a lot of sugar.

Refined Grains & Starches: In general, any type of flour (e.g. standard, cauliflour, rice flour etc.) and grains that have been completely stripped of nutrients such as white rice.

Potato Chips: Technically plant based and offers very little in terms of nutrition but is packed with calories.

Sweets & Desserts: These includes chocolate, cake, cupcakes or anything with a lot of added sugar, refined grains and butter.

Sugar Sweetened Beverages: Fizzy drinks, energy drinks or flavoured milk with a lot of added sugar or fat.

Energy Balls & Health Bars: These are often packed with simple sugars, lack fibre or protein.

The Bottom Line

There are many variations of a plant based diet but they all share common themes.

Reducing red meat, processed meat and increasing the consumption of high quality plant based foods appears to benefit health.

Although cutting back appears to be more beneficial then completely eliminating these food groups.

Top foods to eat on a plant based diet includes starchy carbohydrates, healthy fat sources, low fat dairy, fish, plenty of fruit, vegetables and coffee is recommended.

Top foods you want to stay away from includes fruit juices, refined grains & starches, sweets & desserts, sugar sweetened drinks and chips.

DISCOVER WHAT FOOD IS RIGHT FOR YOU

A custom built quiz designed to help you find out what foods you should be eating.

Discover What Food Is Right For You With This Simple Quiz

Everyone is different…

… we’re different in height, weight, gender, ethnicity, body shape, size, food preference, in our situation, goals, motivation, time & food cravings.

There is an endless amount of different types of diets and it makes it very difficult to decide what is right for you.

That’s why I developed this simple 30 Second Quiz, designed to help you discover EXACTLY what food is right for you…

… and the best part is, you can get started right here, right now.

Take The Free Quiz Here

Henry Lau – Qualified Nutritionist

How To Discover What Food Is Right For You

Everyone is different…

… we’re different in height, weight, gender, ethnicity, body shape, size, food preference, in our situation, goals, motivation, time & food cravings.

There is an endless amount of different types of diets and it makes it very difficult to decide what is right for you.

That’s why I developed this simple 30 Second Quiz, designed to help you discover EXACTLY what food is right for you…

… and the best part is, you can get started right here, right now.

Take The Free Quiz

[ EVIDENCE BASED ] Discover What Food Is Right For You With This Simple 30 Second Quiz

Henry Lau – Qualified Nutritionist

Discover What Food Is Right For You

Everyone is different…

… we’re different in height, weight, gender, ethnicity, body shape, size, food preference, in our situation, goals, motivation, time & food cravings.

There is an endless amount of different types of diets and it makes it very difficult to decide what is right for you.

That’s why I developed this simple 30 Second Quiz, designed to help you discover EXACTLY what food is right for you…

… and the best part is, you can get started right here, right now.

Take The Free Quiz

[ EVIDENCE BASED ] Discover What Food Is Right For You With This Simple Quiz

Read Next:

The Ultmate 2020 Guide To A Plant Based Diet

Top Health Benefits Of A Plant Based Diet: What We Know, What We Don't Know.

The Ultmate 2020 Guide To A Plant Based Diet

Top Health Benefits Of A Plant Based Diet: What We Know, What We Don't Know.