What Are the Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet?
With #MeatlessMonday trending online, new veggie products popping up on grocery shelves everywhere, and mainstream celebrity endorsements, many people around the world are turning to a plant-based diet for their own health and the health of the planet. Adopting a plant-based diet means only eating fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, grains, and beans. Some people choose to eat a plant-based diet a few times a week while still incorporating small amounts of animal products like eggs and dairy into their meals, but others choose to eliminate them completely by adhering to a strict vegan diet.
The inspiration for becoming plant-based is a dietary choice for some, while others choose to follow the lifestyle for ethical reasons or environmental benefits. Additionally, nutritionists and scientists alike have discovered that a plant-based diet offers a number of health benefits. From weight management to lowering the risk of some diseases, eating whole foods that are plant-based is associated with a range of health benefits.
Finding a flavorful plant-based meal is easy when you replace egg and dairy-based ingredients with Yumm! Sauce®. Our all-natural, creamy, and delicious sauce is dairy-free and egg-free, making it a great option for people avoiding animal products. Our famously vegan dip, spread, and dressing is made with a wholesome base of almonds, nutritional yeast, soy beans, and chickpeas. Try it in place of butter, mayo, and sour cream on any savory dish!
Why do people choose to go plant-based?
• To reduce their environmental impact
• To meet personal health goals
• To support animal welfare efforts
• To avoid food allergies
What Are the Environmental Benefits of Eating Plant-Based Foods?
For some people, the most important benefit of a plant-based diet is improved health and overall wellbeing. However, others choose this lifestyle for ethical reasons, such as caring for animal welfare or reducing environmental impact.
In fact, if you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint and protect the environment, eating a plant-based diet is an effective and affordable path to choose.
Here are several environmental benefits to swapping animal products for plant-based foods:
- Reduced carbon footprint: Researchers at the University of Oxford found that avoiding animal-based products can reduce a person’s carbon footprint by up to 73%. Plant-based foods require significantly fewer resources to grow, like fossil fuels, than animal-based products, resulting in a much lower carbon footprint. Consequently, a plant-based diet can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow down climate change.
- Reduced water usage: Plant-based foods require significantly less water to grow than raising livestock and growing feed, meaning that eating plant-based can help conserve essential water resources.
- Reduced land use: Growing plants requires much less land than raising animals, which requires industrial feed farming often in clear-cut forestland. Eating plant-based can help slow deforestation, preserving natural habitats and supporting biodiversity.
- Reduced pollution: Large-scale animal agriculture is a major source of air and water pollution, especially nitrogen runoff and methane gas. Eating plant-based can help reduce the amount of pollutants released into the environment.
Nutritional Concerns When Eating Plant-Based Foods
Some people hear the word “vegetarian” and have concerns about becoming nutritionally deficient. The good news is that all of the vital nutrients and vitamins required to live a healthy and sustainable life are accessible through plant-based foods. (However, it’s always smart to consult with a dietician or licensed healthcare provider before changing your diet.)
Once on a plant-based diet, pay close attention to your intake of these key vitamins and nutrients:
- Vitamin B-12 (plant milks, fortified cereals, nutritional yeast, etc., contain this vitamin)
- Calcium (tofu, leafy greens, and tahini can help keep calcium levels up)
- Iron (dark leafy greens, beets, and beans are rich in iron)
- Zinc (oats, nuts, beans, mushrooms, and nutritional yeast can help maintain adequate zinc levels)
- Iodine (fortified foods and seaweed are known to boost iodine levels)
- Vitamin D (spending time in the sun or taking a Vitamin D supplement are good sources of Vitamin D)
- Omega-3 fatty acids (flaxseeds, walnuts, edamame, pumpkin and chia seeds and seaweed contain omega-3 fatty acids)
Plant-Based Ingredients, Recipes, and Alternatives
From black bean burgers to mushroom tacos, most plant-based recipes often replace animal products with the following foods:
- Tofu and Tempeh
- Nut butters (i.e., peanut butter, cashew butter, etc.)
- Beans and Rice
Check out this collection of recipes for some of our favorite plant-based meal ideas.
Add Bold Flavor to Your Plant-Based Diet with Yumm! Sauce®
Choose your favorite, from Original Yumm! Sauce® to Roasted Garlic Yumm! Sauce® or Chipotle Yumm! Sauce®, our all-purpose condiments will add a kick of craveable flavor to any meal. You can also stock up on the organic beans and rice we serve in our restaurants to make your own Yumm! Bowls® at home.
Read more about plant-based options served at Cafe Yumm!® restaurants and our commitment to eating lower on the food chain: Make it Vegan at Cafe Yumm!.
To learn more about Yumm! Sauce®, browse our website today.