Was modifying your diet one of your New Year's resolutions? Perhaps you want to be healthier or lose/gain some weight, or maybe you want to get fit for that marathon you signed up to?
Whatever the reason, you probably already started your research. And chances are that you are confused with all the diet options out there - some of them claiming that you will miraculously look and feel more energized and healthier in no time. Soon, if not already, you may also find contradicting information on different diets and eating plans, which may probably be making you feel a little lost.
Diets Are a Compilation of Averages
The first thing we need to understand is that no diet is a magical 'one size fits all'. We are all different, which means we have different nutritional needs and habitual and cultural baggages.
As Lyn Genet, author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Plan, puts it:
"Diets are a compilation of averages. If something works for 70% of the population, it's considered highly effective."
So before we embark on a new diet journey, we ought to do our research, possibly, even consult a nutritionist or a dietician.
Bring the Focus on Eating Healthier
People have different ideas on what 'eating healthy' means. Some might think that the more food groups one adds to a particular meal, the better. While others believe that if their packaged food says 'organic' or has certain certifications they are automatically healthier options.
However, mounting evidence suggests that following a plant-based diet is a great way to intake the right amounts of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Though, one should also remember to avoid processed and packaged foods, like white flour and refined sugars, excessive fried food, etc - which are still plant-based, but not necessarily good for our health.
Make Veggies Your New Besties
There are many reasons why more and more people have been choosing to become vegetarians or vegans, or simply cutting down on their meat intake. For example, sales of meat have plummeted by almost £185 million in the UK during 2019. Another article suggests that veganism in the UK has seen a 700% growth in just two years, at 7% of the population.
According to a report by Euromonitor, China was projected to be the fastest-growing market for vegan products between 2015 and 2020, with a growth rate of 17.2 percent. Chinese people are increasingly aware of the negative consequences of consuming too much animal products, hence are open to eating plant-based foods.
Some of the key reasons why more and more people have been opting for vegan or vegetarian diets are:
- It's good for one's health. When consumed properly diet-related chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes can be prevented.
- It's good for the planet. The UN reported that livestock generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined.
- It's good for society. If all food crops grown globally were fed directly to humans, instead of animals, there would be enough food to feed 4 billion additional people.
- It's good for the economy. Diet-related diseases create huge stress on a nation's healthcare system.
- It's good for animals. Animals on today's factory farms have no legal protection from cruelty. Further, industrial livestock farming has been guilty of excessive use of antibiotics and other chemicals on animals, that further reaches humans through our diet.
Join The Game Changers Documentary Screening / Discussion with Green Initiatives
Green Initiatives' 113th film event, The Game Changers, features James Wilks who travels the world on a quest for the truth about meat, protein, and strength, showcasing elite athletes, special ops soldiers, and visionary scientists to change the way people eat and live.
The event will involve a series of discussions on the subject. Catering for the event will be provided by Vegans of Shanghai, an organization focused on the adoption of plant-based diets through advocacy, training, and entrepreneurship.
Film comes with Chinese subtitles.