Start Living a Plant-Based & Sustainable Lifestyle

 

Why It's Not That Hard to Start Living a Plant-Based & Sustainable Lifestyle

 

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With news about the climate crisis intensifying year on year, it's no wonder that consumers are looking at integrating healthier, more environmentally-friendly products into their lifestyles. Veganism in products is becoming increasingly more popular, with projected sales growth in China's vegan market expected to reach 17.2%, for example. As evident in our article 'What is Vegan Leather? The Ultimate Guide to Faux Leather', consumers are now more interested in products that have a smaller ecological footprint and reduced harm on animals and the environment.

Veganism is defined by the Vegan Society as a way of living that seeks to exclude all forms of harm, exploitation, and cruelty to animals for any purpose, especially that of food and clothing. The terms 'plant-based' and 'vegan' are more than just a choice that you make with your diet — they're a lifestyle. Daydreaming in Paradise's article on the '10 Women Who Have Launched Vegan Healthcare Products' shares that the majority of vegans stay away from items produced through exploitation and cruelty to animals. Vegans are incredibly conscious of where and how the products they consume are made, and typically research everyday products such as clothing, cosmetics, soaps, and other items are made to ensure no animals were harmed in the whole process.

What is a Plant-Based Diet?

 

 

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While the terms 'vegan' and 'plant-based' are similar, they aren't necessarily interchangeable. According to California-based nutritionist Julieanna Hever, a plant-based diet is a diet that centers on whole plant foods, which are namely "vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices." While a person who practices veganism chooses to avoid any animal by-products in all aspects of their life, someone with a plant-based diet may not necessarily have that restriction.

Health.com writes that plant-based diets typically have one nutritional advantage over vegan diets: a plant-based diet encourages you to eat more whole fruit and vegetables and avoid processed foods. An example used often is that of the French fry: while it's technically vegan, the double-fried starchy food is far from healthy. While you can use veganism to transition into a plant-based diet and vice versa, the two aren't necessarily the same, and making a distinction between both is important.

However, whether you decide to focus on a vegan or completely plant-based diet, the advantages of consuming more vegetable and fruit products and by-products are clear. Harvard Health Publishing found that vegetarian diets lead to better health, specifically increased longevity and a lower risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Plant-based diets like the Mediterranean diet have also been found to reduce the risk of certain types of cancers.

Making the Transition

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The benefits of a plant-based or vegan lifestyle are backed by tons of research, and if you're concerned about your health, your environmental impact, and the impact of the meat and animal by-product industry, then you've probably thought about making the switch. However, changing your diet and your lifestyle isn't always easy, and many experts recommend taking the time to transition to your new lifestyle properly. If you aren't sure where exactly you should start, here are a few tips for doing so.

· Start out slow. If you enjoy a nice aglio olio or want to have a salad day, integrate them into your weekly diet and slowly increase the number of plant-based meals as the weeks pass.
· Change your perspective. Try to look at vegetables as your main course and meat as a garnish before slowly eliminating it from your diet altogether.
· Good fats matter. Healthy fats found in nuts, avocados, olive oils, and seeds are all important, so try to include them in your meals in healthy amounts.
· Snack healthy. Nuts, dried fruits, and vegetable chips are all delicious and fun ways to get your much on, so don't hesitate to comb the supermarket aisles for treats.
· Stay exciting. A plant-based or vegan diet isn't a punishment, and it's important that you learn to have fun with it. Experiment with new recipes and new cuisines, and you might find that this new chapter of your life is more delicious than the one before.

 

Created article for: labante.co.uk

Written by: Jayne Blalock



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