Being rather homebound with my new hip, I’m catching up on journal reading. And I’m seeing a plethora of information reinforcing my decision to go more plant-based in our diet. This is especially important for baby boomers and seniors, as we’re more and more concerned about chronic diseases.
If it’s good for the heart…
Here’s a quick look at some conditions that can be improved by replacing meat protein sources with plant-based ones.
Brain health. Although research is still inconclusive as to specific foods or nutrients that support brain health, it suggests the benefits of a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, healthy fats (fish, olives and olive oil, nuts, and seeds), and plant-based protein sources.
Heart health. Decreasing meat intake helps cut down on harmful saturated fats; fruits, vegetables, and whole-grains reduce the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
Diabetes. The following dietary changes help in the prevention and management of diabetes: eating whole-grain vs refined carbohydrates; replacing saturated and trans fats with healthier ones from nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil and olives; substituting meat sources of protein with vegetarian ones.
Nudging into a plant-based diet
Can’t imagine decreasing your meat intake? Wondering how to find non-meat entrees? Think you won’t feel full after eating? Here are some suggestions to start you on your plant-based journey.
1) Begin by decreasing your portion size of meat, especially at dinnertime. A 3-oz serving–the size of a deck of cards–is all that’s needed.
2) Stop building meals around meat; it should only occupy one-quarter of your plate. Half your plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables, the other quarter with whole-grains.
3) Add vegetables into meat entrees, such as grated zucchini and carrots in spaghetti sauce or meatloaf.
4) Look to other cuisines–Mexican, Italian, Greek and Asian–for non-meat ideas.
5) Experiment with plant sources of protein such as pinto or black beans, lentils or nuts.
6) Try Meatless Mondays: designate one day per week when you have vegetarian meals.
7) Concentrate on a variety of brightly-colored fruits and vegetables.
8) Cook with herbs and spices–many of which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that protect brain.
For more ideas about healthy eating, give me a call!
We can discuss some practical tips and discover if any of my programs or classes are a good fit for you.
If you’d like to schedule that call with me, just CLICK THIS LINK, and let me know in the message that you would like a 1-on-1 call with me right away and I will be in touch to schedule that – oh, and leave me your phone number in there too since email is not as reliable as it used to be! Thanks.