The importance of plant-based eating


Plant-based eating is already part of the lifestyle of a large conscious and responsible eating community, with at least 30% of the US population gaining a majority of their protein from sources other than red meat. This corresponds to the trend of achieving a diet with greater inclusion of plant-based proteins as an alternative to reduce meat consumption.

Today we realize that, without a doubt, plant-based eating is already a trend on social platforms such as Twitter, TikTok, YouTube and Instagram. A number of influencers and active social media users, mainly from the younger Generation Z and Millenials, publish thousands of videos and photos of their food every day.

Restaurants have been slowly joining this trend for a few years now, offering more and more ‘plant-based food’ options. We can find entire menus dedicated to this movement in restaurants. Today we can enjoy everything from hamburgers to plant-based energy drinks at the supermarket. For example, bars and cereals are now supermarket staples, and rarely run out of them. They are a great way to start integrating ‘plant-based’ foods on a daily basis, as they are made with simple, natural ingredients that are non-GMO, such as grains, nuts, legumes and seeds that are combined to provide innovative and functional nutritional benefits.

Nowadays, there is yet to be a consensus on what defines a plant-based diet. It has been used to describe various dietary patterns, ranging from a vegan to a Mediterranean diet. While these ways of eating differ in the amount of meat and milk they contain, all descriptions of a plant-based diet focus heavily on promoting healthy plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

Plant-based nutrition is highly relevant today since we are adapting it to our lifestyle more frequently. Benefits include protecting us against certain chronic or degenerative diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure, dyslipidemia, and hyperglycemia, while helping our bodies to maintain a healthy physical state, as it promotes sustainable weight loss over time, thus reducing the risk of obesity.

Our daily food choices not only affect our health, but also affect the environment. The global food system currently contributes about 20-30% of global greenhouse gas emissions and is a significant driver of land conversion, deforestation, and biodiversity loss. In general, animal products like beef, lamb, and dairy have a higher environmental impact (i.e., they use more resources and produce more greenhouse gases) than plant sources like soy, nuts, and legumes.