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Plant-Based is the New Prescription

SANO Editorial

No magic bullet exists for losing weight and keeping a trim tummy, however there is close second and that’s protein.  A diet focusing on protein—in particular plant-based sources—can be beneficial for aiding in shedding excess weight, building lean muscle and feeling fuller in between meals.  Important research published suggests proteins help in the prevention of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and mortality. Mindfully incorporating more plants into your diet and lifestyle can provide some pretty impressive health benefits.

Weight Loss.  In order to receive optimal weight loss results and keep that unwanted weight off, implement plant protein healthy foods into your lifestyle. Plant-based proteins have little to no fats, which mean they have fewer calories than animal proteins.  By replacing high-fat meat with plant protein, not only are you advancing the nutritional composition of your diet, but calories are reduced along with saturated fats.  Your lifestyle diet should include the healthy trifecta of water, fiber and protein.  Diets that include healthy portions of water, fiber and proteins typically make you feel fuller faster and will typically decrease subsequent caloric intake.  Proteins require more energy to metabolize and digest than fats or carbohydrates.  Because proteins are digested slowly they keep you satisfied longer allowing you to cut calories.  

Fibrous Foods Are More Satiating.  The general recommendation for daily fiber intake is 25 to 35 grams depending on age and gender.  The average American eats just half of the recommended amount of fiber each day. Fiber—which is only found in plant-based whole foods—has a laundry list of health benefits, including the key nutrient for supporting weight loss by making you feel full.  Dietary soluble fiber slows the time it takes food to leave the stomach providing for a slower rate of digestion and a feeling of satiety.

Microbiome Mystery.  Cholesterol only exists in animal-based foods, such as meat, dairy and eggs.  Since only plant-based foods contain dietary fiber, that soluble fiber works to eliminate cholesterol from animal-based foods.  Fiber remains important as ever in controlling weight and improving health given the elevated concerns of the Western diet all while the researchers continue to understand the biochemistry complexities with the gut microbiome and its microflora that includes several types of bacteria.  Good and bad bacteria feed on foods we consume with the immune system acting as a security guard to prevent toxins and pathogens from attacking the liver or bloodstream. Additionally, fiber sits in the intestinal watch tower flushing toxins, pathogens and cholesterol through the back door.

Environment Preservation and Sustainability. Believe it or not, the food you choose to eat not only affects your health but also has an important impact on the environment too.  When considering carbon emissions, pesticides, fuel, water and other resources, it’s highly evident how colossal the global footprint is animal-based protein production.  The high carbon and water footprints massively contribute to the climate change, land degradation and harming of the oceans having an overall effect on our food supply.  Studies have shown that nearly 20% of global emissions come from livestock, meaning a person with a diet consisting of high amounts of animal-based proteins had more than double the carbon footprint of a vegan.

Plant-based diets offer innumerable benefits not only for you by providing impressive health benefits, but also adding preservation to the environment.  So instead of meat at your next meal, have fun with it and try a delicious plant-based alternative. You may be pleasantly surprised how you look and feel.  

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