Several individuals are making dietary changes, to be healthier and to limit their impact on the environment. They may decide to have less sugar, less meat or even embrace a vegan diet. Anyhow, more and more individuals are consuming plant-based food items, which include cheese and meat. Are you also planning to start following a diet made up of plant-based items? If yes, read on for a list of things that you should know regarding the food items.
The Meaning Of The Term ‘Plant-Based’
As per the US-based Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA), the term refers to a product that comprises plant derivatives used as ingredients. Some of these are legumes, seeds, nuts, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. You may swap an animal food derivative for its plant-based counterpart. Some plant-based goods can replace animal derivatives only in parts. Therefore, it is vital to label these plant derivatives in the form of a blend.
It Is Perhaps In Or Possibly Not In A Vegan/Vegetarian Diet
It is worth noting that the terms ‘vegan’, ‘vegetarian’ and ‘plant-based’ refer to different diets. A vegan diet has no animal derivative, whereas the vegetarian and plant-based ones may have some of these products. This means you can describe all forms of vegan diets as ‘vegetarian-friendly’, but the same is not true vice versa. All forms of vegetarian diets cannot be plant-based ones, either.
That is to say, consuming plant-based food items alone may not make you a vegetarian or vegan. You may be a particular form of a dieter, depending on which kinds of products constitute it. If your diet comprises eggs and milk, then you may either be a vegetarian or plant-based dieter. If it contains no product derived from animals, you would be a vegan.
Plant-based edible producers do not target vegetarians or vegans, as the latter form only a fraction of the global population. They mainly target carnivore people and flexitarian diet followers.
It May Be Healthy Or Unhealthy
A diet with a higher plant-based item proportion is usually thought of as a healthy one. Anyhow, the above may be incorrect in some cases. The diet would be healthy if it mainly comprises whole food items like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes. This form of diet can reduce the possibility of chronic health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
Nutritionists are still concerned regarding heavily processed plant-based meat products that are high in both sodium and saturated fats. These components –flavoring, fillers and preservatives – can make the products tastier, longer-lasting, and better in terms of texture.
The above may be regarded as natural, but the products are not always good for a diet that is healthy. While these may be ‘green’, they are perhaps unhealthy, particularly in big quantities.
It Is Changing How People Consume Food
Plant-based consumer goods are here to stay. What we presently see is a proliferation of these goods at a global level. In the early 1990s, there were fewer plant-based goods. Conversely, in the noughties, there were more of these, including almond milk as perhaps the most sought-after dairy alternatives. Nowadays, there are plant-based chicken, pork, ice cream, yogurt, fish, cheese, eggs, jerky, sausage, and so forth.
Baby boomers and Generation X tend to resist dietary changes, but millennials and Generation Z are embracing and will keep accepting plant-based edibles.
Millennials are not the inventors of this form of food-eating pattern. Anyhow, they are bringing it into use again, as well as spurring a wide change in the consumption of and attitudes to the food items.
Its Quality Will Also Depend On Its Components
Several consumers fail to notice the ways in which plant-based goods are produced. Replacing animal derivatives with the above food items is not as easy a task as you might think.
Researching and developing plant-based goods require more years than doing the same for many other products. The above processes have been possible only due to the components available, like plant proteins, flavorings, binders, and oils. The better these ingredients are, the more will be the quality of the end product be in terms of appearance, texture, flavor and mouthfeel. The future plant-based goods would possibly be better for health if better processes (such as 3D printing) and better components become available.
It May Also Be Green/Environmentally-Friendly But Be Wary Of The Following
People consume plant-based items mainly due to the sustainability factor as well as environmental concerns. Doing so saves water, minimizes agricultural land utilization, and reduces climate change effects.
Anyhow, know that several plant food brands belong to a bigger operation. A particular brand is perhaps environmentally-friendly and sustainable, but the same may not apply to its owner. As a consumer, you are entitled to know the source of each brand’s goods and their manufacturing methods to make informed choices.