After browsing enough internet articles, you’ve probably been smacked in the face with the idea that swapping your steak for spinach is a good idea. It’s enough to make any red-blooded, red-meat-loving person cry.
Friends, we understand. Most of us have grown up eating the standard American diet, which consists largely of animal products, added sugar, and trans fats. Three out of four Americans don’t eat a single piece of fruit per day, and nine out of 10 don’t even consider eating our veggies.
The results have been devastating for our waistlines and our health scores. Switching to more plant-based foods can help you avoid becoming a statistic. Let’s talk about the health benefits of a plant-forward diet and how you can make a move.
What Are the Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet?
We know you want evidence that switching to more plant-based meals will net you a better yearly checkup with your healthcare provider. And it will.
Those uncomfortable talks about weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure? Switching to a vegan diet could be the key to having less of them.
Supports Heart Health
Heart disease has been the number one killer among Americans for decades. The most common type of cardiovascular disease is coronary artery disease, which causes the arteries to harden as they are filled with fatty deposits.
This condition dramatically increases your risk of having a stroke or a heart attack. Studies show that a plant-based diet can lower your risk of heart disease and reduce the risk of heart attacks.
Another interesting find: The sooner a person began plant-based eating, the more protective the benefits were. This kind of information is the kind that makes you reconsider a side salad instead of french fries for dinner.
Supports Weight Management
This might get uncomfortable, but we’re going to talk about weight. Like that yearly visit with your doctor, it’s important to consider the health aspect of the seemingly innocent pounds we pack each year.
Obesity is an epidemic, and if your body mass index (BMI) places you in a range that isn’t safe, you could already be experiencing symptoms of metabolic syndrome. This condition makes it more likely you’ll develop high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
The good news is, weight loss is possible — it just takes work and a commitment to cleaning up your diet.
If you’ve tried methods that have failed, consider a plant-based lifestyle. Eating more fiber and nutrient-filled foods (like plants) helps keep you full and support your body’s nutritional needs. One study found that people who regularly consumed a plant-based diet had significantly lower BMI measurements than people who didn’t.
Supports Healthy Blood Pressure
Admit it. You’ve been blaming those high blood pressure numbers on white coat syndrome long enough. If your blood pressure is in an unhealthy range, switching to more plant-based foods can help you get it back on track.
Plants contain sterols, which help block the absorption of cholesterol. Plants also contain fiber, another plant compound that helps reduce the amount of cholesterol absorbed in your bloodstream.
The plants with the highest amounts of sterols include legumes (like chickpeas and lentils), nuts (like cashews), and seeds (like flaxseed and chia seeds). High-fiber plants include whole grains, like quinoa and brown rice, and practically any whole fruit or vegetable imaginable.
How Can You Make a Smooth Transition to a Plant-Based Diet?
Now you’ve seen the science, and maybe you’re more convinced that a whole food plant-based diet is a good decision. Before diving in head first, focus on making small swaps and moving slowly. You can do this, but consistency comes with making sustainable changes.
Name Your Goals
Even if your goal is to avoid all animal-based foods, you’ll want to break that overarching goal down into smaller goalposts. Another goal might be to lower your intake of saturated fat, or to lose a few extra pounds.
Whatever your goals are, make sure:
- They’re manageable. It’s going to be hard to switch to a fully plant-based diet if your local grocery stores don’t carry many plant-based alternatives, and you’ll need time and research to reach this goal.
- You give yourself time to reach the goal. If your goal is to lose 20 pounds, your time frame shouldn’t be to lose that amount of weight in one month. A realistic time frame (like one pound per week) is achievable and helps you stay positive and focused.
Write your goals down. Put them in front of your face. Make sure you see them each day, and tell a friend of your plans. Enlist some personal and outside accountability, and watch how quickly you succeed.
Start With Just a Few Swaps
Most anyone who has given a plant-based lifestyle a try can tell you that going too hard too fast is a recipe for failure. Sure, you’re familiar with plant-based milk, but the world of plant-based proteins is vast and challenging.
Do you want to consume veggie burgers instead of meat substitutes (which may have ingredients you don’t like)? Will you eat foods like sugary cereals that, although plant-based, don’t support your overall wellness?
If you’re just starting out, you’ve got time to learn about these intricacies. Here’s a quick guide to helping you make a few easy swaps.
- Give meatless Monday a try. Whether you opt for plant-based recipes on Monday or substitute beans in your tacos on Tuesday, try to include one vegan meal per week in your meal plan.
- Switch to plant-based milk. There are so many different kinds of plant-based milks, you can keep trying them until you find one you like the most. Almond, soy, cashew, rice, and oat milk are viable options with different flavors.
- Learn how to order plant-based options at your favorite fast food joint. Virtually all chains offer some type of plant-based option, even if it isn’t marketed as such. Get creative. Swap out your fried sides for a baked sweet potato, and ask to have dairy products (cheese, butter) removed from your dish.
Making dietary changes is never completely easy, but making them small and manageable is the easiest way to stay successful.
Stock Your Fridge and Pantry
Your intentions may be good, but if you don’t have plant-based options on hand, you’ll be tempted to cave when a craving hits. When you’re making your grocery list, make sure you include a few plant-based treats to have on hand. Dairy-free ice-cream, seasonal fruit, or hummus and chips are snack options that can help beginners make it through weak moments.
Also important: making sure you don’t become a junk food vegan. Once you become a professional at reading food labels to see if they include animal byproducts, you’ll learn very quickly that many foods are “vegan” by default, including those famous chocolate and creme sandwich cookies.
Going “cold turkey” can lead you to consuming more processed, pre-packaged items that, while plant-based, aren’t necessarily healthy foods due to rebound cravings.
Plan Your Meals Ahead of Time
Fail to plan, plan to fail. Preplanning your meals can help you stay successful and save you time if you decide to add meal-prepping into your routine. There’s no need to struggle to find plant-based recipes, either.
From cookbooks to dedicated websites, there’s a wide variety of vegan recipes available, and they range from quick and simple to larger, multicourse meals.
On the L’Evate You website, you’ll find plant-based recipes that are continually being updated as we find and create new recipes we love.
Be Wary of Processed Meat Alternatives
Because the benefits of a plant-based diet are so desirable, there’s been an upturn in veganism and even vegetarian diets in the last few years. This means that companies are keeping up, marketing quick and easy options to add to your new lifestyle.
It makes sense that someone whose taste buds once loved a good hamburger would enjoy a plant-based alternative, but not all meat alternatives are healthful or beneficial. Some contain plants that have been processed so much they’ve had their healthy parts taken from them. Others have chemicals, dyes, and preservatives added that offer no nutritional benefit and may cause you to consume empty calories.
The key to avoiding them? Become your own nutritionist and read the labels. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself or using these products once in a while, but your entire diet shouldn’t consist of them.
Focus on Food Variety
The great benefit of a plant-based diet is that there are so many options. Make the produce section of your grocery store your favorite spot to shop. Find a vegetable you’ve never prepared before and find out how to make it.
Don’t limit yourself to the same foods because they’re all you know. You’ll get bored of a boring diet and probably quit. As you begin making more swaps and learning how to eat more healthfully, you’ll find there’s no limit to the new combinations you can create in the kitchen.
Get Your Greens
Another way you can support your health and your plant-based diet is by adding a greens powder into your health stack. A greens powder is a quick and convenient way to add the whole-food goodness of greens (like spinach, kale, and broccoli) to your diet without ever having to clean or cook them.
L’Evate You Vitality Daily Greens are packed with nine different greens and 30 superfoods to give you the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you need with the ease and convenience of a delicious powder that can be mixed into the drink of your choice.
Inside every scoop of L’Evate You Vitality Daily Greens, you’ll get some pretty surprising benefits:
- Greens. You need the nutrients in green vegetables to support your metabolism, cholesterol, digestive tract, weight, bones, skin, eyes, and muscles. Adding a scoop of greens powder daily gives you benefits quickly and easily.
- M-Charge Cellular Complex. Exclusive to L’Evate You Vitality Daily Greens, our M-Charge complex consists of ingredients that target energy creation in the cells, helping support the production of ATP, your cells’ energy currency, and boosting mitochondrial function.
- Immune support. Inside our greens powder, we include a blend of probiotics and prebiotics to support your gut health, which in turn helps bolster your immunity. This blend also helps bring back balance to digestion, helping you get rid of bloating and irregularity.
- Antioxidants. Want to know the secret to anti-aging? It’s antioxidants. These compounds protect our cells from oxidative stress, a phenomenon that causes damage to our cells when exposed to stressors called free radicals. We add a healthy dose of antioxidants to our greens powder to keep your cells youthful, which means you get to feel more youthful too.
- Mushroom blend. Mushrooms have been used in traditional medicine to support cholesterol, cognitive function, and sodium levels. We add a powerful blend of mushrooms to our greens powder so you can get those important benefits too.
When we created this powder, our goal was to make a product that gave you as many benefits as possible in every single scoop. Spoiler alert: we nailed it, and you can nail your health and plant-based living goals with this easy-to-use, delicious powder.
The Bottom Line
Now that you know the truth and benefits behind a plant-based diet, it might not seem as daunting as it once did. Switching to more plant-based foods is a good idea to support your health and keep you feeling your best. Adding L’Evate You Vitality Daily Greens is the smart choice for hitting your nutrition goals every single day.