A plant based diet is a diet which focuses on fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. This diet avoids meat, eggs, and dairy as well as bleached flour, sugar and certain oils. Is a plant based diet a vegetarian diet? Well it depends on your definition of a vegetarian diet. Did you know that there are different types of vegetarian diets? The type is based on the type of foods the person eats.
A lacto-vegetarian does not eat meat, fish, eggs or poultry as well as no foods that contain these items within them, such as dairy-milk, cheese, butter, or yogurt. A lacto-ovo vegetarian does not eat meat, fish, or poultry, but they eat dairy and eggs. An ovo-vegetarian does not eat meat, fish, poultry, dairy, but they eat eggs. A vegan diet excludes meat, fish, dairy and foods that contain these items. A term that you may not be as familiar with is a flexitarian, which is someone that eats mostly a plant based diet, but on occasion eats meat, fish, dairy, eggs, and poultry.
According to U.S. News, a plant-based diet is not only good for the environment, but also good for overall health. U.S. News ranked the best plant-based diet, which they defined as a diet that emphasized plant foods that were minimally processed. In addition, there were low amounts of fish, low-fat dairy, lean meat. The Mediterranean diet was rated #1 because it provided good nutrition, ability to deliver weight loss, and easy to follow.
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Reducing Health Risks With Plant Based Diet
There has been a rise in cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer around the world. A plant based diet has proven to reverse these conditions. Reversing these conditions has allowed people to reduce the amount of medication they have to take daily or completely stop taking medications. There has been extensive research in this area to show the link between a plant based diet and weight loss, lowering cholesterol levels, lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease, lowering hypertension, and reversing type 2 diabetes. "Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University, has been doing research in this area for more than 70 years and authored more than 300 research papers. He is coauthor of the bestselling the book, The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight-loss and long-term Health" (www.tcolincampbell.org, pg.1). According to the American Institute for Cancer Researcher (AICR), a person can reduce their risk of cancer if the diet is based off of plant based foods. AICR suggests that 2/3 of our plate should be filled with vegetables. fruits, beans, and whole grains. A plant based diet protects our bodies against cancer, such as esophageal, stomach, lung, pancreas, prostate, mouth, larynx, and pharynx. The AICR outlines the recommendations for cancer prevention on their website www.aicr.org. According to the article "7 Deadliest Types of Cancer", 13% of all human deaths are because of cancer.
There is a lot of information published in journals, health magazines, medical websites on a plant based diet and the benefits to overall health and happiness. Decide for yourself if this type of lifestyle will benefit you and increase your health and outlook on life.
The Forks Over Knives Diet
The Forks Over Knives Diet (FOK Diet) is a plant based diet whole foods diet. This diet advocates fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes while excluding meat, eggs, and dairy. Fish and poultry are excluded as well. In addition, it avoids bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil. There was a documentary made on this diet and it was officially released on May 6, 2011 in theatres. There has been much press on this diet. On the FOK website, there are testimonials in which people have mentioned that they were able to lose weight, lower cholesterol, stop medications, improved energy, lowered blood pressure, sleep better and this list goes on. If you do a You Tube search for The Forks Over Knives Diet, you will see the trailers for the documentary and reviews.
To learn more about a plant based diet, I recommend reading Forks Over KnivesDVD and recipe cookbook.