Start where you are today, and scale to more plant-based as you incorporate healthier choices. Don’t focus on what you are giving up, but what you are adding to your nutrition and health.
The food we consume is either one step towards good health, or away from health. Depending on the regularity of poor food choices, our decisions can undoubtably result in long-term health consequences. Health Canada is strongly encouraging us to increase our consumption of plant-based nutrition.
Vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts and seeds, legumes (beans, peas and lentils), and water. Fruit and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre. Antioxidants help protect us against cancer and heart disease, also reduces inflammation in our body. Fibre facilitates regularity for our bowels, lowers our risk of some cancers, and helps us maintain a healthy weight.
Meat and poultry – beef, pork, lamb and goat are red meat. A diet high in processed and red meat increases your risk of colorectal cancer. Meat, eggs, and dairy products are high in cholesterol and saturated fat. Saturated fat raises cholesterol and leads to heart disease. Unlike whole grains, refined grains are significantly lower in fibre, and often these products are highly processed and contain added sugar and fat. Processed and packaged foods are linked to inflammation, poor food value, and obesity.
Ideally, beginning to focus on a diet rich in plant-based foods as a child helps to develop a healthy eating pattern for life. These children have an advantage, unlike the average adult that consume a typical North American diet and suffers from health complications such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Remember, it is never too late to start a healthier eating plan by incorporating more plant-based nutrition. Statistics prove, adults that switch to a plant-based diet are able to lower their cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and body weight.