(BPT) - Whether you're seeking a better approach to your diet, a more environmentally conscious lifestyle or both, you're in good company. Last year's plant-based food market in the U.S. totaled $8 billion, up 7% from 2021 — and interest in plant-forward eating is not slowing down. Whatever your reasons for wanting to make this change, you probably have questions. Do you want to go vegan, or just vegetarian? Can you add a few more plant-based foods to your day and reap the benefits?
"A diet centered around fruits, vegetables and other plant-based foods can deliver nutrients your body uses for energy while avoiding many of the drawbacks associated with eating meat," said Dr. Luigi Gratton, M.D., M.P.H. and vice president of Training for Herbalife. "Eating whole fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains is beneficial because they contain a plethora of nutrients that support healthy function across all bodily systems."
Although any effort to incorporate more plant-based foods into your routine offers benefits, it may be difficult to do all at once. To make lasting change, experts recommend taking one step at a time. New ways of shopping, cooking and eating take getting used to — as does adjusting to new flavors and textures.
What is a plant-based lifestyle?
"Plant-based" means you primarily eat food derived from plants. This is similar to the term "plant-forward," emphasizing whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds and nuts — but not limiting you to those foods. Versions of plant-based diets include:
Vegetarian: You abstain from eating animal products including meat, poultry or fish. Vegetarians consider it acceptable to eat animal by-products, such as milk and eggs, if the animals are kept in adequate conditions.
Vegan: In the strictest version of the plant-based approach, you eliminate any food of animal origin. In addition to avoiding meat and seafood, vegans also avoid dairy products, eggs and honey. Vegan foods never contain byproducts of animal agriculture like lard, whey or gelatin.
Flexitarian: An alternative to vegetarian, flexitarians focus on fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes and nuts, but occasionally include meat, poultry, fish or eggs. When incorporating meat, flexitarians choose organic, free-range, pasture-raised or grass-fed beef, chicken or turkey. This is a great option if you're just starting to experiment with a plant-based lifestyle.
How do you know you're getting enough nutrients?
One question for anyone considering going vegetarian or vegan is whether they'll get enough protein and other nutrients for optimal health. Beyond seeking plant-based forms of protein like beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, iron-rich tofu and spinach, and whole grains like quinoa, you can add supplements to support your well-being with plant-based certified products like those from the Herbalife V Line.
"While following a plant-based lifestyle can be a very healthy way of eating, it may be tough to meet all your goals. For example, vegans seek good options to increase or meet their protein goals, including supplementation," said Gratton. "Plant-based certified products like the shakes in the Herbalife V line can help you hit your macro target while taking out the guesswork of plant-based living."
The product line offers four plant-based certified products to help simplify plant-based nutrition:
Plant-based Protein Shakes: Available in classic and chocolate flavors, their 20 grams of protein (pea, pumpkin seeds and chia) satisfies hunger, reduces food cravings, maintains lean muscle tone, sustains energy and promotes healthy skin. The shakes are also a source of non-heme iron.
Greens Booster: Formulated with special blends derived from organic fruits, vegetables, superfood powders and green tea, this is an easy way to add more fruit and vegetable ingredients to your daily routine.
Immune Support: Contains vitamins C, D and zinc to help balance and support daily immune health.*
Digestive Support: Oat and guar fibers support a healthy gut, digestion and regularity.*
Herbalife V products are backed by science and rigorously tested for quality. All products are certified USDA Organic, non-GMO-verified, Kosher, as well as Plant-based and Vegan by FoodChain ID. They're formulated with no soy or dairy, with no artificial sweeteners or flavors. Herbalife V is available in the U.S. and Puerto Rico exclusively through Herbalife independent distributors. Learn more at Herbalife.com/herbalifev.
Ready to get started? Begin adding one plant-based meal per day, then slowly increase to three a day over the course of a month or two. Before you know it, you'll be following a plant-forward lifestyle. Making one small change at a time can help improve your daily diet and overall wellness.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.