‘Plant-based’ claims are the latest marketing ploy that irks me.
Research supporting the health benefits of plant-based and plant rich diets points to the value of eating more whole plant foods: vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, lentils and grains.
A plant rich diet is brilliant for great health but unfortunately manufacturers are trying to trick you into buying products that are not.
I really want you to eat more vegetables, fruit and other plant based foods but fabricated manufactured 'plant-based' foods are not what I want you to eat.
The research does not support the use of manufactured foods using extracted or refined ‘plant ingredients’.
Think about this. All of the following are derived from plants but none are nutritional gems: sugar, white flour, maltodextrin, rice flour, maize starch and modified starch.
Be wary of manufactured foods advertised or labeled with a plant emphasis: vegan friendly, dairy-free, non-dairy, animal-free, made with plants, plant rich, suitable for vegetarians, plant-only, meat-free … there are many word variations.
An emphasis on plants only (and, by virtue, animal-free) on a food label does not mean healthier for you. There are loads of animal-free processed food products, organic or not, too high in simple sugars, sodium salt and saturated fat. They offer you no nutritional or health benefits at all.
If you really want to embrace plant-based eating to gain health benefits, start in the fresh produce section.
P.S. You don’t need to give up animal products to gain the health benefits of a plant-based diet. You do need to eat enough real plant foods. To deliver health benefits, both animal-free and animal-inclusive diets need to be rich in a wide variety of real whole plant foods, not filled with fabricated processed foods. Plant-based marketing is misleading.