You’re probably familiar with the most common plant-based diets, like vegetarianism and veganism. But did you know other healthy diets rooted in fruits, vegetables, and grains exist?
These plant-based diets are inspired by the natural foods humans had eaten for thousands of years. What’s more, these plant-based diets are better for the environment. By cutting out meat, you can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and preserve biodiversity.
Let’s dive in to a few of these alternative plant-based diets.
The Mediterranean Diet has gained momentum recently. It’s based on the common diet denominators of countries like Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Morocco, and Turkey – all of which have very low rates of heart disease. The Mediterranean diet is also linked to reduced risk of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. The diet emphasizes balance, low consumption of red meat, sugar, and saturated fats in favor of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, whole grains, nuts, and lean protein.
The flexitarian concept is a fairly loose one. Also called “semi-vegetarianism,” it focuses on plants and is largely vegetarian, but its adherents do occasionally eat meat. The result helps you cut down significantly on your meat consumption while also acknowledging that humans have evolved as omnivores and that giving up meat entirely is sometimes impractical.
The anti-inflammatory diet focuses on eliminating foods that can cause inflammation – which in turn can lead to or aggravate chronic disease. The diet, in a broad sense, emphasizes eating fresh foods, minimizing consumption of processed foods, and eating a high volume of fruits and vegetables. It also focuses on fiber-rich foods like whole grains and produce like okra, eggplant, onions, bananas, and blueberries.
The ever-popular, low-carb Atkins diet is a proven way to lose weight. But the original diet focuses heavily on meat consumption, which may not sit well with those inclined towards vegetarianism. The Eco-Atkins twist involves a high-fiber diet focused on beans, nuts, high-protein vegetables, and grains like couscous and pearl barley. This can be one of the most challenging plant-based diets due to its restrictiveness, but it’s been successful at helping adherents lose weight and lower cholesterol at the same time.