The evidence is strong that a plant-based diet is better for our health and for the environment. But if you're not a fan of adopting a completely vegan diet, you can still make small changes to your eating habits to eat less animal products and more whole, plant-based foods. Here are some simple ways to accomplish this:
- Follow the MyPlate: The USDA's "Choose My Plate" explains that we should make half of our meals consist of fruits and vegetables, a quarter whole grains and a quarter protein-rich food source. By following this recommendation essentially three-quarters of your meal will automatically come from plants, and if your protein source comes from beans, lentils or soy then your entire meal would be plant-based.
- Rethink your snacks: Fruits, veggies and whole grains are all plant-based foods that will provide the filling fiber at snack-time, and a little protein can make that snack last longer. Nuts (or nut butters) and seeds are great for adding protein, healthy fats and fiber. Think pecans, peanuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews and seeds such as chia, ground flaxseed, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
- Swap out fats: In place of butter or other animal-based fats, use plant oils for cooking. You can also find plant oil based spreads to use in lieu of butter or margarine.
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