When it comes to diets, a plant-based diet seems to be the “newest” kid on the block, trending after the likes of keto, raw food, paleo and flexitarian, just to name a few. But in actuality, plant-based diets have been around for quite some time, merging with philosophies behind vegetarianism and veganism and a love for all things living.
A plant-based diet has many different variations, based on a person’s goals. But the strictest definition comes down to eating fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, lentils and beans, nuts, and everything else that comes from the ground, explains Louis Chan, Master Trainer and Sports/Fitness Nutritionist, ISSA Academy Singapore.
It’s a good recourse from modern-day, meat-heavy diets, adds Jacyln Reutens, Clinical and sports dietitian and founder of Aptima Nutrition & Sports Consultants. “It is also lower in saturated fat, sodium, trans fat and added sugars, which are linked to lifestyle diseases like diabetes, heart problems, stroke, cancer and gout, ” she says
Plant-based diets de-emphasises the contribution of meat to our health and diet, so it differs from vegetarianism or veganism as it allows you to eat meat, poultry, fish, dairy and other animal products in small amounts.
That said, both Chan and Reutens insist it should be approached with full knowledge of the benefits and detriments in order to reap the full benefits. Here’s what you need to know.