Many doctors and nutrition experts these days advocate eating a plant-based diet. There are many benefits to eating mainly plants, not just for an individual’s health but for the environment as well. A healthy diet doesn’t have to be expensive, nor does it require shopping exclusively at expensive health food stores. You can buy fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables at any grocery store, and if you read labels carefully, you can find healthy choices among processed foods as well. The following are some of the top reasons for eating a plant-based diet.
A plant-based diet is healthier for you. You can avoid the saturated fat that comes from animal products like meat, butter, and cheese, along with the cholesterol in eggs. Eating more plant foods can help you control your weight and avoid high blood pressure and heart disease. Moreover, meat can be contaminated by bacteria or parasites and can cause severe illness if it isn’t cooked to a precise temperature. In addition, livestock animals are often treated with hormones (to increase the amount of meat in a chicken breast, for example) or antibiotics, both of which can be harmful to humans. Plants have none of the potentially harmful effects of meat.
Eating plants is better for the environment because farming practices use fewer resources and cause less pollution. In egg farming, for example, the farmer has to use land to grow corn or other grains to feed the chickens. The grain requires water as well, and the chickens need land to live on. If you compare a conventional brand of chocolate chip cookies with an egg-free cookie made by Hampton Creek Foods, a case of eggless cookies takes 2,000 fewer gallons of water and 7 fewer square meters of land to produce. In addition, livestock farming uses more fossil fuels and creates more pollution through animal waste.
A plant-based diet is also a more economical choice. Since plants are much cheaper to cultivate, the cost savings can be passed down to the customer. Beans, lentils, and grains are cheap and nutritious alternatives to meat. This is especially important in parts of the world that are food challenged. For more information about the benefits of a plant-based diet, check out this page by Hampton Creek.