I am a huge proponent of eating a fresh, healthy, whole foods diet that is mostly plant based. There are so many studies that support eating a preponderance of many servings of fruits and veggies. The USDA recommends at least 7-13 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Beyond purely health reasons there are also ethical reasons why some people choose to eat a plant-based diet. The cruelty in the commercialization of farming animals creates additional steroids use, toxins, and hormone release into animals.
With all of the information about changing a diet to reflect one that is more plant-based, there are more questions by people about how to eat a healthy and balanced diet. I usually recommend that people eat at least 85 percent of their foods from plant-based sources. This includes a proper balance of healthy fats, proteins and carbohydrates. If someone chooses to eat a 100 percent plant-based diet that is fine too but they must still have a proper balance of healthy fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Vegans must also take extra supplementation of B12.
This idea became particularly important this summer when I became aware of a group that decided to eat a totally plant-based diet, or vegan diet, for ethical reasons. They just stopped eating anything that was produced by an animal. Examples would be any meat, poultry, fish, milk, eggs, cheese and honey. They were primarily eating fruits, vegetables and grains. They were very deficient in any type of plant-based protein. They were not eating nuts, seeds and beans. Protein is essential because it supports proper metabolism, it is used in creating hormones, it is the building blocks for the immune system, it is needed for growth and repair of all cells, it preserves and builds muscle mass, it is an energy source when carbohydrates are not available, and stabilizes blood sugars and helps us feel full. Over time, months and years of not eating enough protein people will feel tired and develop other health issues.
The key is to make sure you are eating healthy proteins with each meal and your body will thank you for it.