Plant-based diets are all the rage right now. From social media to television, and even in restaurants and cafes around town, everyone is talking about plant-based meals and offering them to consumers. If you’re curious about this new “fad diet,” you should know that plant-based dishes can be every bit as healthy as non-plant-based ones – yet, as with most health plans, there’s a right and a wrong way to make the switch from traditional eating to plant-based dieting. Here are 3 mistakes you’ll definitely want to avoid making.
Suddenly Starting Your Plant-Based Diet
If you read a particularly jarring article or saw a bothersome documentary about factory farming, you might feel as though you can’t start your plant-based diet soon enough. However, according to health experts, starting a strict diet too quickly can cause digestive upset and also make you burn out too quickly. Then, you’re at a higher risk of abandoning the new diet altogether. Avoid this by gradually transitioning to a plant-based meal plan. Try swapping a few ingredients here and there, before making the jump to a fully plant-based kitchen.
Overloading on Carb-Heavy Foods
Plant-based diets don’t leave room for any meat or seafood – so, you might dupe yourself into believing that an acceptable substitute for these items are more carb-heavy foods, like pasta or bagels. Yet, replacing animal products with refined carbohydrates does little to boost your health or minimize chronic disease risk. In fact, overdoing it with the carbs can be just as unhealthy as your formerly non-plant-based diet. When replacing protein-rich foods, try to opt for other protein-rich, yet plant-based, foods, like beans, tofu, nuts, and veggie meat alternatives.
Forgetting About Nutritional Supplements
While plant-based diets are healthy, limiting your daily intake of animal products also means that you’re robbing your body of many essential vitamins and minerals. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you need to abandon your new diet – it just means that you should consider which nutritional supplements you should take, in order to make up the difference. For example, many people who eat plant-based diets require an additional supply of vitamins B12 and D, omega-3s, iodine, iron, calcium, and zinc.
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