If you’re looking for a way to lower your cholesterol, lose weight, and reduce your risk of heart disease, then a plant-based diet is what you need.
Plant-based foods have been growing in popularity and one of the reasons why is due to its heart-boosting results.
According to research, eating a plant-based diet can improve your heart health, so why not add some vegetables to your menu?
After many studies exploring the effects of plant-based diets, researchers have found that vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are great for your health.
Studies conclude that plant-based food helps with cholesterol, blood pressure, and heart disease.
Based on 11 different studies, plant-based diet significantly improves cholesterol levels and weight.
Research also shows that eating more fruit like blueberries, apples, grapes, and pears lowers the risk of hypertension.
The findings of 95 different studies concluded that adding more fruits and vegetables to a diet will reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
In fact, the more vegetables you eat, the lower the risk of chronic heart disease.
The first step in switching from a sugar, carb, and protein-heavy diet to one that centers on plant-based foods is to take the initiative and plan it.
According to Jason Ewoldt, R.D.N.,L.D., a wellness dietitian at Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program, you can virtually eat as much fruit and veggies as you want.
“Most of us don’t eat enough plant food, which is so important for heart health,” Ewoldt says.
However, it’s not all about fruits and veggies: seeds, nuts, whole grains, and legumes can help round-it out.
Tips to Get Started
The following are four tips from Ewoldt to help you get started on a plant-based diet.
1. Plan to Win, Not Fail
Don’t rush into it, otherwise you might be setting yourself up for failure; try gradual changes instead.
If you decide to go cold turkey, all the vegetables and fruits you buy might end up in the garbage by the end of the week.
2. Plan to Shop, Shop to Plan
Make a plan based on a gradual and incremental change which will make it easier to transition and stick with it.
For example, if you only eat one serving of vegetables per dinner, start by adding an additional serving.
After establishing your new routines, keep adding more fruits and vegetables.
3. Creative Prep
Veggies and fruits don’t have to be boring: try steaming, broiling, roasting, blending, or sautéing them.
4. Sneak Them In
If you’re not used to having veggies or fruits in your diet, try “sneaking” them into your favorite dishes.
For example, add some extra veggies in your soups and salads or add fruits to your breakfast cereals and snack selection.
Regardless of how you plan it, what matters is that you get started on your way to a healthier life.
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