What does it mean to be plant based?
‘Based’ meant something that provides the foundation for… in this case your diet. And plants need to be a very hearty base of your diet. As The China Study – the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conduct- ed- reveals (amongst thousands more, easily accessible studies, let alone common sense) without a shadow of a doubt… we need to be eating a predominantly plant- based, nutrient rich diet, upwards of 90% or more if we are going to be healthy.
The reason is, plants are where all the nutrients come from, including protein. Yes, protein!
A plant based nutrient rich diet means you are getting all the nutrients (healthy promoting protein, real food carbohydrate, essential fat, water, fiber, vitamins and minerals, phytochemicals, enzymes etc) that you need to function and perform well, from ALL the nutrient categories and you don’t get what you don’t need (satu- rated fat, cholesterol etc). This is is what defines a Nutrient Rich whole food!
A plant-based diet is a diet that focuses around plant foods: fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds, without or without the inclusion of animal products i.e. meat, fish, butter, milk, eggs, cheese, gelatin or other animal by-product.
Due to the lack of animal products in a plant-based diet, some people assume it’s the same thing as vegan or vegetarian, but that’s not necessarily true. The difference between “plant-based” and “vegan” may be subtle or vastly different, depending on the context. I find it’s important to understand these distinctions.
Veganism, according to Wikipedia, is “the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, partic- ularly in diet, as well as an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of sentient animals. A follower of veganism is known as a vegan.”
Veganism is deeply rooted in animal rights and being a vegan (noun) is a lifestyle choice that involves both politics and personal beliefs (ethics). Vegans not only eschew animal products from their plates but also from their entire life. Leather, fur, wool and silk are not worn. Products that are tested on animals, such as some cosmetics, are not used. Even products that come from insects such as honey and beeswax are gener- ally not considered vegan or suitable for vegans.
So you can follow a plant based diet without being a vegan.
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