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  • Writer's pictureLets Go Healthy Miami

Healthy Eating Habits, Miami

You don't need to be a vegetarian to enjoy tasty and healthy plant based dishes. We're not just talking about beans. There are endless options to prepare legumes, lentils, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.

Here are six reasons to increase your plant based protein intake.

1. Plant based protein is a better source of nutrition. Pound for pound, plant based proteins are lower in calories and higher in nutrient content. Especially important is fiber, which improves digestion and reduces the risk of disease. One nutrient missing from plant based diets is vitamin B-12, which is found in animal products. If you do eat meat, eggs, and dairy on a regular basis, you don't need to worry. People who are mostly vegan should consider supplementing.

2. Plant based protein is low in saturated fats. A fatty steak is delicious, but comes at a price to your heart health. Even lean meats have saturated fats. Plant based proteins are extremely low in saturated fats. Some, such as nuts, are a great source of healthy fats. Despite recent headlines in popular magazines and newspapers, the majority of scientific studies have shown that diets high in saturated fats increase the risk for cardiovascular disease.

3. Processed red meats are carcinogenic. Deli meats may be tasty, but their consumption is correlated with an increase in chances for cancer.

4. Vegetarians are healthier. People who lead a plant based diet live longer and are less prone to disease. This doesn't mean you need to give up meat completely; every person should find their happy place along the spectrum of lifestyle choices. If you can swap some of your meat meals with veg-protein based meals, you will be doing your body a favor.

5. Plant protein is much cheaper. A gram of beef costs 4 cents, but a a gram of lentils just 1.6 cents. A gram of chicken is 1.5 cents, a gram of beans, just one cent.

6. Earth wins. Replacing meat protein with plant protein means reducing the burden on the planet. Growing one pound of meat protein has an overall environmental impact that may be 100-fold higher than that of plant protein.

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