Many of us follow a plant-based diet for health benefits like reduced risk of developing diseases like diabetes, stroke, heart attacks, etc. That said, people who follow this eating habit, especially vegans have a higher risk of developing some deficiency diseases. This is because certain micronutrients are either absent or not easily absorbed from plant-based foods. The purpose of this article is to introduce you to the plate-method for a balanced plant-based diet; read on to know more about it.
What Is A Balanced Diet?
A balanced diet ensures that your body gets Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) of nutrients in a day. This is especially important when you follow plant-based diets like a vegan diet, where you eat only plant-based food and avoid consuming all types of animal-based food. You must also keep in mind that by following a plant-based diet, you eat more plant-based food and less animal-based food. This means that you need not avoid some categories of food if they help you to achieve a balanced plant-based diet.
What Is The Plate Method?
The plate method is an effective tool that helps you to visualize different portions of food that you must include in your meal for following a balanced plant-based diet.
Fruits And Vegetables: ½ The Plate
- Sources: You can include any fruits and/or vegetables that are available locally and in the season. Dieticians recommend including leafy greens along with the vegetables. Furthermore, if you are in a hurry, you can also use frozen fruits and vegetables.
Grains: ¼ The Plate
- Sources: Food like oatmeal, rice, barley, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, teff, whole grain bread, pasta, wheat tortilla are the primary sources of carbohydrates in a plant-based diet. The advantage of including whole grains is that they have higher nutritional content and low glycaemic index.
Plant-Based Proteins: ¼ The Plate
- Sources: The best sources of plant-based protein are legumes and food products made using them. Some of them are tempeh, tofu, green peas, edamame, seitan, chickpeas, lentils, and vegan meat replacements.
Healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids are an integral part of any balanced diet. They are found in nuts like almonds, walnuts, and cashews, seeds like flax seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and hemp seeds.
We hope that the details shared above about the plate method will help you to follow a balanced plant-based diet.