Plant-based diets shift the balance in favour of plant foods. However it’s not necessary to eliminate all animal products. Eating smaller amounts of animal foods, and replacing them with more plant-based foods, can bring about major benefits to both our health and the planet.
It’s widely accepted that to achieve a healthy balanced diet, two thirds of it should come from plant foods and one third from animal based products. This is because plant foods contain more fibre, vitamins and minerals and less fat and saturated fat than animal foods. As such this way of eating has been associated with proven benefits to our health and is in line with national and international dietary recommendations.
Plant foods and plant-based eating patterns have shown a number of beneficial characteristics in cancer.
To stimulate achieving this in practice, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) suggests that when preparing meals at least two thirds of the plate should be made up of plant foods (vegetables, fruits, grains and beans) and foods from animals (like fish or meat) should make up less than a third. (http://www.aicr.org/new-american-plate/reduce_diet_new_american_plate_portion.html).
Most epidemiological studies examining the relationship between diet and cancer risk have focused on selected nutrients or food groups. To date there’s increasing evidence that meat-based dietary patterns have a detrimental effect on cancer risk. As such the World Cancer Research Fund recommends that red and processed meat intakes are limited.
Alpro and many other organizations are stressing the importance of plant-based eating because of the numerous health and environmental benefits. The Alpro Foundation is an independent non-profit organization founded by Alpro in 1996. Its mission is to raise awareness and share knowledge about the impact of plant-based foods on wellbeing, with a special interest in soya.
The book, The Plant-based Plan, is an invaluable resource in answering all questions relating to plant based eating. This detailed reference guide provides the scientific evidence to support plant based eating, along with practical advice for anyone who wants to get started on a plant-based diet.
The book was written by Dietitian, Lynne Garton and Nutritionist, Janice Harland whose mission, along with the Alpro Foundation’s, is to raise global awareness on the importance of a healthy, plant-based diet.