Plant-based eating is more convenient than ever, and the food market is taking notice. Every year, millions of people are deciding to consume plant-based products, whether to improve their health and well-being, to reduce their environmental impact, or to maintain animal welfare. More than half of millennials self-identify as flexitarians, and every day we hear of another vegan Hollywood starlet or exclusive athlete ditching meat and dairy and embracing a plant-based strategy. There is no shortage of reasons for someone to choose a plant-based, vegan or flexitarian strategy.
And food manufacturers are listening: Forbes reported that plant-based items saw a 27 percent increase in sales in 2020, making $7 billion in food sales, as well as with growing consumer demand for healthy and balanced, and also sustainable plant-based items, those numbers are expected to keep climbing. It’s never been easier – or even more delicious – to offer plant-based consumption. Here are 5 reasons why now is the best time to try a plant-based diet:
1. The options are far more plentiful than ever
Gone are the days when the vegan area of the grocery store (in the few stores that had one) included little more than soy milk and tofu. These days, read the aisles of any major market, from Kroger to Walmart, and you’re likely to find more plant-based items than you could ever fit in your shopping cart.
Comparable to the proliferation of gluten-free items, vegan foods are less complicated to determine than they used to be. Many include a “V” on the label, indicate that the item is “suitable for vegans” or include “no animal-derived items.” These labels can help you avoid sneaky animal-derived ingredients in things you might assume are vegan, such as wine, vinaigrette dressings, crackers, sauces or veggie burgers (which often include eggs).
For the full list of plant-based or vegan products ranked by preference and wellness, check out The Beetroot Meters, which evaluates the entire nature of plant-based products on the market: vegan cheese, non-dairy creamers, dairy-free ice cream, poultry alternatives, veggie burgers, and more. Every week there are even more animal-free products to choose from.
Virtually any type of animal-based food product you can consider has a veggie supplement (or twenty), from burgers and also nuggets to ice cream and cream cheese. Trying to find dairy-free milk? You can choose from oat milk, hemp milk, almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk and, of course, soy milk.Want cheese? Vegan cheese has come a long way over the years thanks to companies like Miyokos Creamery, Follow Your Heart, Kite Hillside, Ciao, Violife, Treeline and several others.
Today’s vegan cheeses are full of tempting flavors and reasonable appearances, and they also carry just about every specific cheese niche, from cheddar to feta to aged brie. There are also vegan crab cakes, bacon, fish-free sushi, chicken-free nuggets, and authentic tasting meatballs…anything a vegan heart could desire can be found in a plant-based type. You can even make an excellent plant-based omelet thanks to JUST Egg, an amazingly convenient item made from mung beans.
While a healthy and balanced diet plan should consist primarily of whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables and legumes, it certainly helps to recognize that if you have a strong craving for buffalo hen wings, but want to avoid meat, you will most likely discover numerous plant-based varieties at your local market. You can finally have your vegan cake and also enjoy eating it!
2. Consuming plant-based products is becoming easier and more economical.
A vegan diet plan can be really expensive if you buy a lot of processed and pre-made foods. However, with a little preparation and knowledge, a plant-based diet can be much cheaper (up to 40 percent) than an animal-based diet – and as an added bonus, meal preparation is commonly much faster. Distinguished vegan chef Charity Morgan, a Le Cordon Bleu graduate who now cooks for famous athletes and celebrities, uses her Instagram account to demonstrate how to cook a wide range of delicious plant-based meals that are less expensive than a trip to McDonald’s.
With the spread of cost-effective online grocery store websites like Thrive Market, PlantX, Vejii, Misfits Market, and also Imperfect Foods, you can locate plant-based staples like rice, pasta, and beans at reduced prices, and also have fresh vegetables and fruits delivered to your door for less than it would cost at a regular grocery store.
Bulk garbage cans from grocery stores are another excellent resource for low-cost staples. You can find granolas, cooking ingredients, snacks, natural herbs and also spices in the bulk section at a lower price than pre-packaged versions.
Regardless of where you shop, you can keep costs down by filling your basket with items such as canned or dried beans, whole-grain types of pasta and also nuts and seeds. Frozen fruits and vegetables are an economical year-round option, offering countless options for inexpensive, healthy and tasty dishes on a limited spending plan.
And if you don’t have time to prepare, or don’t enjoy it, there are plenty of vegan dish package companies like Purple Carrot, Veestro, and also Fire Roadway, as well as the growing varieties of dish distribution solutions that leave all dishes ready to consume for less than the expense of a take-out dish. Locate more ideas on how to begin your affordable plant-based diet regimen at The Newbie’s Guide to Going Plant-Based. For a starter pack, check out the 17 items you should get to begin your plant-based journey.
During the first couple of weeks of going vegetarian, eating in restaurants can be intimidating. Fortunately, thanks to the growing need, more and more establishments are offering vegetarian and vegan options. If you want to choose restaurants that you know offer plant-based meals, check out the Delighted Cow app, which allows you to search using numerous filters, consisting of geographic area, type of food and whether a restaurant has plant-based alternatives or is vegan.
Vegan restaurant chains like Veggie Grill, Native Foods and others are quickly popping up all over the country. And for a nice fix, beg one of more than 50 Cinnaholic locations throughout the united state and also Canada, where you will be captivated by a selection of exquisite cinnamon rolls, frostings, cookie dough, brownies, and toppings, and also with no visible pet components.
3. Support is just a click away
While the absence of support soon prevented many people from staying with their plant-based method, today the glut of alternatives can be frustrating. The good news is that there are Internet resources to help streamline plant-based shopping as well as eating, including the dishes at The Beet.
If you’re new to plant-based eating, start with our beginner’s guide to a plant-based diet regimen. Looking for ideas on the newest plant-based products at your favorite stores? You can find comprehensive roundups of plant-based purchases at Trader Joe’s, our guide to ordering vegan at Starbucks, and what’s on the menu at Taco Bell. Google is your best ally: just search for “order vegan food at…” and type in the place you want to see what options are out there.
What about food? Eating a balanced diet is essential for anyone, but when it comes to a plant-based diet, it’s especially important to know how to get the right nutrients and when you need to supplement. If you’re looking for healthy, easy and delicious vegan dishes, as well as dish coordinators, take a look at the extensive information provided by websites such as Forks Over Knives and The Beet. There are almost unlimited dish sites for ideas, loading just about every particular niche imaginable, from affordable to specialized ethnic, oil-free, gluten-free, decadent delights, as well as much more. Some of our favorites include The Vegan 8, Plantbased On A Budget and Oh She Shines.
If you like to scroll through Instagram for motivation, there’s no shortage of vegan influencers sharing lovely recipes, health and fitness tips, sustainability advice and good vibes. Dr. Judy Brangman (@theplantbasedmd) uses thoughtful recommendations for those interested in plant-based health. Maya Leinenbach (@fitgreenmind) makes easy-to-follow recipe videos for all types of vegan consumers. Tabitha Brown (@iamtabithabrown), Isaias Hernandez (@queerbrownvegan), Haile Thomas (@Hailethomas), and also Rudy Ramos (@vegicano) are among the many BIPOC voices raising the level of variety and inclusivity in the vegan sphere. A quick social media search for “vegan” brings up hundreds of accounts, so it’s up to you to determine which ones motivate you the most.
4. It’s one of the most effective things you can do to minimize the risk of disease.
Medical studies are abundant on the remarkable health and wellness advantages of plant-centered diet regimens, from decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease and also diabetic issues to maintaining body weight within a healthy range. Currently, proof is additionally placed that a plant-based diet regimen considerably reduces your sensitivity to infections, which consists of as COVID.
A brand-new global study of practically 3,000 participants in 6 countries discovered that those on a plant-based diet were 73% less likely to suffer from moderate to severe COVID-19 than those eating the conventional American diet of meat and dairy products. Harvard scientists came to a comparable conclusion in their research study on the relationship between diet plans as well as COVID threat: Approximately one-third of COVID-19 situations may have been avoided or symptoms minimized with better access to (as well as use of) healthy, balanced plant-based foods.
Plant-based approaches to eating are finally catching on, as research studies expose much of the traditional “wisdom” that the meat and dairy markets have fed us. For example, we now know that milk is not the best source of calcium (dark leafy greens and beans are), and also that full-fat dairy products have been linked to heart problems and specific cancers, among other health problems.
Various greens, vegetables, beans, and also seeds have extra calcium for the offer of a glass of milk, plus these plant sources load additional nutrients as well as fiber, without the drawbacks of milk.
Additional research studies show that consuming a largely or plant-based diet plan can increase life expectancy, maintain muscle mass, minimize cholesterol, reduce bloating, as well as many other benefits.
5. Renouncing animal products can help save the planet.
It is no secret that our world’s natural reservoirs are having a hard time keeping up with our needs, just as humans are affecting climate modification by contributing greenhouse gases to the atmosphere at an alarming rate. The UN issued a “Code Red” for the earth, warning that human-induced climate modification is currently widespread and is rapidly being magnified in a commonly publicized UN International Panel on Environmental Change (IPCC) Report.
International food manufacturing is one of the largest contributors to discharges from non-renewable fuel sources and also to environmental destruction, as the use of feed, water and land for animal husbandry has put a strain on our rainforests, biodiversity and the ability to recover air-dumped carbons. While the situation is dire, there is a capacity for hope that a current priority to move toward sustainable food systems can hold out hope for the future. Eating plant-based and forgoing meat and dairy are some of the most reliable methods to improve both human well-being and environmental sustainability. Many scientists now stress that minimizing domestic animal husbandry will play a vital role in this change.
Much healthier humans, a much healthier planet and kinder food systems? If there’s such a thing as a win-win, the plant-based consumption we’re seeing increase could be it. Need an extra push to get started? Check out these 21 inspiring estimates from the stars regarding going meatless, as well as these 15 concepts from people who changed their lives. Your turn.