There’s been a lot in the media about choosing a plant-based diet. But what does that mean? And why are people around the world choosing it? We spoke to our nutritionists to find out what all the fuss is about.
What is a plant-based diet?
As the name suggests, a plant-based diet is a diet that’s made up of foods that come from plants – think plenty of vegetables, fruit, grains, pulses, nuts and seeds. People adopt plant-based diets to varying degrees, from eating less meat and dairy (flexitarian), to completely cutting out animal products, including eggs and honey (vegan).
Why are plant-based diets on the rise?
Recent data shows that 70% of the world’s population are eating less meat and since 2010 the number of new vegan products available has increased by over 250%.
The internet, and especially social media, has made it very easy to share information to a huge audience. This has enabled people to understand more about where their food comes from. Combine this with the popularity of health and fitness and the growing concern about climate change, and the result is an increase in people adopting plant-based diets.
Because a plant-based diet can mean eating more fruit, vegetables and legumes, it’s likely to also be high in fibre, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium and vitamins A, C and E, which all offer a wealth of support to the body including immune function and energy regulation. By limiting meat, dairy and eggs, a plant-based diet may also be lower in saturated fat, which has links with negative impact on heart health.