The plant-based diet is becoming a new trend in the Western world. Statistics are showing around a 600% rise in the number of vegans in the United States in the past 3 years. The main reason for the rise in the number of vegans is the health benefits plant-based food offers. There is a wide range of nutrients present in plants that helps in maintaining a healthy body and keeping away several health problems.
Eating plant-based meals have a lot of benefits but there are still some dos and don’ts you need to know when following a plant-based diet. Most plant foods are allowed in a plant-based diet because of their rich nutrient profile. However, there are several plant-based foods that you should avoid. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Just like table sugar, artificial sweeteners are not allowed in a plant-based diet. If you are eating enough plant-based food, you will get enough sugar for your body. Try to include dates, bananas, or applesauce. Avoiding all forms of sugar is best for getting the maximum benefits of plant-based foods. Constant exposure to artificial sweeteners increases its craving and you will start eating more food with carbohydrates and it can lead to many health problems.
Foods Containing Added Sugars
The food manufacturers add a high amount of sugar into their products for improving the taste of the products. But these added sugars are not doing your health any good, but increases the blood sugar levels and lead to health conditions like type 2 diabetes. To avoid that, you should minimize the consumption of food with added sugars or completely avoid them. You will get the required amount of sugar that you need from plant-based foods like fruits.
One of the main foods that you should avoid if you want to follow a healthy plant-based diet is packaged convenience foods. These packed foods are processed and contain a lot of artificial flavors and colors, chemical additives, and a high amount of sodium and sugar. Regular consumption of packaged convenience foods increases the risk of developing diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
Refined grains like bread and wheat pasta qualify as plant-based foods but the dieticians and health experts do not recommend adding them to your plant-based diets. This is because refined grains do not have enough nutrients when compared to whole grains. The bran and germ of the grain are removed during the processing and a significant number of nutrients are lost in the process.