The perks of eating a plant-based diet.

February is American Heart Month, making it a great time to explore new eating styles with added health benefits. Consuming more plant-based foods and reducing animal-derived foods may lower your risk of coronary heart disease.1 A growing wellness trend called plant-based eating promotes a diet that consists of whole, unprocessed foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. However, this doesn’t mean you have to become a vegetarian or a vegan. There are other plant-based eating styles that allow you to still eat meat, fish, and other foods if you prefer.

 

Defining Plant-Based Eating Styles2

Flexitarian = mostly vegetarian; some meat
Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian = dairy and egg products; no meat, fish, or fowl
Ovo Vegetarian = egg products; no meat, fish, fowl, or dairy
Lacto Vegetarian = dairy products; no meat, fish, fowl, or eggs
Pescatarian = fish; no steak, chicken, pork, or other meat
Vegan = no animal products (meat, fish, fowl, eggs, dairy, honey, etc.)

 

Perks of Plants

Heart Benefits.
Research shows plant-based diets are linked with lower cholesterol and lower risk of coronary heart disease.3

Environmental Benefits.
By eating less meat, you’re reducing your carbon footprint.4  According to the 6th International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition 2013, compared to non-vegetarians, the carbon footprint is lower by 20% for semi-vegetarians, 24% for pescatarians, 28% for lacto-ovo vegetarians, and 42% for vegans.

More meat alternatives are now available to consumers than ever before.5

 

Keep It Interesting!

Go beyond the basics of whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables. Here are some ways to add variety to your plant-based menu:

  • Enjoy unsweetened plant-based milks such as soy, almond, hazelnut, and cashew. (Don’t worry, there’s plant-based chocolate milk, too!)
  • The Publix Deli offers new hummus flavors that are savory, colorful, and spicy. Change it up with lentil or vegetable hummus.
  • Choose drinks, protein powders, and nutrition bars that have pea and vegetable proteins. Replace whey with plant-based protein powders (located near our supplements) in your favorite smoothie.
  • In the Produce department, discover expanding meat alternatives including tofu, tempeh, and seitan.
  • You’ll also find plenty of plant-based meals and veggie burgers in the frozen section.
  • Growing in popularity, riced cauliflower makes a great alternative to rice, potatoes, and pasta. It’s available in our Produce department and frozen section.
  • Spiralized vegetables, including zucchini, beets, and sweet potatoes, work well in many recipes. Find them in our Produce department.
  • Pulses and legumes are practically everywhere—even in chips, dried snacks, and pasta.

 

Steps to Plant-Based Success

If you’re looking for ways to get more vegetables and other plant-based foods into your diet, set some simple goals:

  1. Build breakfasts around oatmeal or whole grain cereal. Toasting a slice of whole grain bread and topping it with avocado or nut butter and fruit is a great plant-based option if you’re on the go.
  2. Join the Meatless Monday trend and prepare a vegetarian recipe one night a week. Lentil Bolognese over Zoodles is a hearty dish that’s sure to please everyone at the table.
  3. Fill at least half of your dinner plate with salad greens and cooked or raw vegetables.6
  4. Incorporate unsaturated fats, such as nuts, seeds, avocados, or olive oil, into your diet.
  5. Snack on Avocado Hummus with baby carrots and whole grain crackers.
  6. Serve a plant-based appetizer, such as Fall Root Vegetable Stacks
  7. Try a Mediterranean-style diet, which is ideal for plant-based eating.

As you continue your wellness journey, explore new paths to plant-based eating with our recipes, products, and tips.


1 U.S. Government Publishing Office. “USC Title 36 §101: American Heart Month.” GPO.gov. August 12, 1998. gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2015-title36/html/USCODE-2015-title36-subtitleI-partA-chap1-sec101.htm.
2 “What Are the Different Types of Vegetarians?” The Vegetarian Resource Group. Accessed November 7, 2017. vrg.org/nutshell/faq.htm#types.
3 Satija, Ambika, Shilpa N. Bhupathiraju, et al. “Healthful and Unhealthful Plant-Based Diets and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in U.S. Adults.” Journal of the American College of Cardiology. July 2017. http://www.onlinejacc.org/content/70/4/411?download=true.
4 Watson, Elaine. “Environmental Footprint of Vegan and Vegetarian Diets 30% Lower Than Non-Vegetarian Diets, Say Researchers.” Food Navigator USA. March 1, 2013. foodnavigator-usa.com/Article/2013/02/28/Environmental-footprint-of-vegetarian-diets-30-lower-say-researchers.
5 “Plant-Based Proteins Are Gaining Dollar Share Among North Americans.” Nielsen Product Insider, powered by Label Insight, September 22, 2017. nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2017/plant-based-proteins-are-gaining-dollar-share-among-north-americans.html
6 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). “MyPlate.” ChooseMyPlate.gov. April 19, 2017. choosemyplate.gov/myplate.