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Plant-Based Diet, Part Two

Starting a new healthy eating lifestyle is never easy. Anytime my patients ask for advice on how to get started, I have them research by reading about the health benefits of eating healthier, find some recipes online that they will like, make a grocery list, start with one healthy meal a day, and write down a plan of action including what their goals are.

I also recommend the documentary “Forks Over Knives.” (available on YouTube). I tell my patients that you do not have to be strictly vegetarian or vegan to be healthy.

Even I enjoy a nice greasy pepperoni pizza on rare occasions.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are the staples of a healthy plant-based diet. They are loaded with fiber, tons of nutrients, and all kinds of minerals. You should be “eating the rainbow,” as they say.

  • Tomatoes, spinach, kale, mustard or collard greens, cabbage, cilantro, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, onions, mushrooms, potatoes, avocado, asparagus, bell peppers, carrots, celery, eggplant, squash, green beans.
  • Apples, bananas, blueberries, oranges, plums, apricots, lemons, peaches, mango, melons, cherries, grapes.
  • Bread, pasta, oats, quinoa, barley, rice, whole grain tortillas.
  • Lentils, chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans.
  • Whole wheat flour, chickpea flour, almond flour, oat flour, baking soda.
  • Almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, and rice milk.
  • Cashews, walnuts, almonds, pecans, peanuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, ground flax seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, and pecan butter.
  • Organic ketchup, mustard, salsa, BBQ sauce, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar.
  • Pure maple syrup, agave, honey, molasses, organic sugar cane, maple sugar.
  • Nutritional yeast, cereals, vanilla extract.
  • Oregano, basil, parsley, cinnamon, ginger, chili powder, cumin, paprika, nutmeg, allspice, red pepper flakes, cloves, and sesame seeds.

Here are some health benefits published at eatingwell.com:

  • Fiber is important in disease prevention and regulating our digestive system. Research shows many health benefits to eating more fiber, like healthier body weight and a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
  • Weight loss research, like the 2021 study in Clinical Nutrition ESPN, shows that people who follow a plant-based diet tend to have lower body fat percentage and a smaller waist circumference. Plus, this high-fiber diet will help keep you full so you can lose weight while still feeling satisfied.

One thing when it comes to nutrition that I always tell my patients to avoid as much as possible is processed foods. Even the healthy ones.

You may have heard the advice to shop around the perimeter of the grocery store to avoid eating processed foods.

While it’s true that the outside aisles are where you’ll find produce, yogurt and tofu, there’s a lot of nutritious foods to be found in the inner aisles of the grocery store.

There, you will find whole grains, like quinoa, brown rice and oats, dried and canned beans, nuts and seeds, and frozen fruit and vegetables. Stocking up on canned and dried beans and lentils is a good idea.

For protein, focus on minimally processed sources like beans, lentils, nuts and whole grains and limit heavily processed vegetarian proteins like soy hot dogs or imitation meats. They tend to be very high in sodium and don’t pack the nutritional benefits compared to their less processed plant-based options.

Disclaimer: I do not encourage or discourage the Plant-Based Diet. I do encourage anyone interested in the Plant-Based Diet to decide if this way of eating is best for them.

For an appointment with Dr. Irving in Puerto Vallarta or at FEDA Nutricion and Fitness, Calle Jacarandas 86, in Bucerias, or if you are interested in purchasing Dr. Irving’s CBD oil (5000mg or 10,000mg) without THC, please contact Loren Hayes on WhatsApp at 322-167-7570.

Author

  • Dr. Irving Ramírez

    Dr. Irving Ramirez-Alvia, Naturopath, was born in Tepic, Nayarit, in 1992. After obtaining a degree in health and nutrition, Dr. Irving finished medical school and moved to Vallarta. His new office is opening in 2024. Meanwhile, his online store features all-natural, homeopathic products and remedies. For an appointment with Dr. Irving in Puerto Vallarta or at FEDA Nutricion and Fitness, Calle Jacarandas 86, in Bucerias, or if you are interested in purchasing Dr. Irving’s CBD oil (5000mg or 10,000mg) without THC, please contact Loren Hayes on WhatsApp at 322-167-7570.

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