Plant-Based vs. Plant-Forward Diet: What Are the Differences?
Every day, people are always looking for new diets to take under their wings. There are a variety of reasons as to why you might need to change your diet. Whether it’s because of personal preferences or food intolerances. When it comes to focusing on eating more fruits and vegetables, you might find yourself deciding between plant-based and plant-forward diets. Although they sound exactly the same, there is one striking difference between the two.
What is a Plant-Based Diet?
A plant-based diet is an eating regime that revolves primarily around eating plants. Some people may refer to it as an alternative vegan lifestyle, especially if they’re not a fan of the title of “vegan”. Compared to a plant-forward diet, plant-based diets focus on substituting meat and meat by-products with plant protein.
For example, instead of consuming iron through red meat, a plant-based diet would focus on healthy greens for iron. Another example would be protein. Instead of eating meat for protein, someone with a plant-based diet would rather rely on beans.
What is a Plant-Forward Diet?
Now that you have an understanding of what plant-based means, it’s time to discuss plant-forward. A plant-forward diet is far more relaxed than a plant-based diet. Instead of finding ways to substitute meat for plants, a plant-forward diet is easier to follow. This is because you’re simply trying to add more plants to your daily meals.
You can still enjoy meat, but in much smaller quantities, as the majority of your plate should be filled with vegetables and/or fruits. What you’ll find is that people interested in a plant-based diet will start out with a plant-forward diet.
Are There Benefits to Plant-Based and Forward Diets?
You’ve likely heard a lot about plant-based and plant-forward diets. This may lead you to consider whether it’s the right lifestyle change for you or not. There are a variety of benefits associated with focusing on eating more plants daily.
✓ Improved Blood Pressure
One of the largest advantages to both diets is the ability to lower your blood pressure. As you continue to eat increased levels of fruits and vegetables, your levels of potassium will increase as well. Potassium is one of the best natural defenses against high blood pressure. It can also be beneficial in terms of remedying anxiety and stress.
This is all because of your higher intake of nuts, seeds, legumes, and grains. They have an incredibly high level of potassium and heightened levels of vitamin B6, which is also known to help fight high blood pressure.
✓ Weight Loss
You would be surprised at the sheer amount of fat and carbohydrates you consume when you eat a mostly meat-focused diet. One of the main things that people realize when they switch to a plant-forward or plant-based menu is weight loss. In fact, there have been many studies that prove to add a little more vegetables to your meals can help you lose weight on its own. You don’t necessarily need to take on the task of eating an entirely plant-based diet, but instead, increasing your consumption of fruits and veggies.
Once you start making your meal plans for your new diet, you’ll love how many vitamins, minerals, and fibers you’ll be ingesting daily. Not only that but also healthy fats and proteins that don’t come from animal fats. Combine your new diet with exercise and you’ll be able to shed off any extra pounds.
✓ Aesthetic Benefits
Apart from the fact that the inside of your body will be healthy, the outside will be as well. Many people don’t realize the impact that their diet has on their skin, hair, and nails. The more unhealthy you eat, the more likely you are to suffer from acne, scarring, brittle hair, and more. No matter how many topical products you rely on, your skin, hair, and nails will never reach their fullest potential if your diet is poor.
As you continue to eat higher levels of vitamin and mineral-rich foods, you’ll undoubtedly be able to notice differences on the outside as well. Your hair will become more lustrous and grow faster, as will your nails. You’ll also be far less likely to deal with skin ailments unless you have a hormonal issue. Phytochemicals are another fantastic advantage of plant-based and plant-forward diets. You’ll have that youthful glow that you have always desired.
✓ Reducing Aging
There are plenty of vitamins that help the human body slow down aging. Although this is an inevitable part of being alive, you can ward off fine lines and deep wrinkles with the right diet. Vitamin C is one of the best anti-aging compounds, as it assists your immune system and improves your collagen levels. Having a diet that consists mostly of ingredients filled with vitamin C will give you the longevity that you need to look more youthful for longer. A few examples of fantastic vitamin C rich foods include apricot, broccoli, bell peppers, and papaya.
✓ Improved Alertness and Concentration
Do you find that you’re forcing yourself to stay away in the middle of the day? It’s likely because your body doesn’t have enough healthy energy to run off of. The average person eats an insane amount of processed sugars which can force your body into a state of fatigue.
However, if you revolutionize your diet and focus more on clean eating, you’re going to have heightened levels of energy. In fact, you might find that you might not even need to rely on coffee or other artificial energy boosters throughout the day.
No matter if you choose to live a plant-forward or a plant-based diet, your body is going to thank you. There are numerous benefits associated with both and you will finally be able to live the healthiest life possible. Even if you’re not someone interested in becoming fully vegan, opting for a plant-forward diet can revolutionize your health. It’s amazing what focusing more on fruits and vegetables can do for your body.