My diet is always a hot topic at any dinner party, people seem curious to know what exactly it is I eat, where I get my protein from and how sustainable the way I eat is. Besides all that; I've noticed that there is a general confusion between the different types of plant based diets, so I'm shining light on what it means to eat a plant-based diet, various sources of protein as well aa dietary benefits.
Before I get into what my personal diet entails, let's get into those differences. As far as my knowledge goes, there are three types of plant based diets namely, vegan, vegetarian and pescatarian. Here are the distinct features of each diet:
Vegans eat mostly fruits, nuts, beans, seeds, lentils and vegetables whilst refraining from animal foods, including meat, fish, chicken, pork whilst refraining from any other foods sourced from animals such as eggs and dairy.
Vegetarians eat mostly fruits, nuts, beans, seeds, lentils and vegetables whilst refraining from animal foods, including meat, fish, chicken, pork; but do eat eggs and dairy.
Pescatarians eat mostly fruits, nuts, beans, seeds, lentils and vegetables whilst refraining from animal foods, including meat, chicken, pork; but do eat fish, eggs and dairy.
The plant based diet that I ascribe to is pescatarian; I choose to eat pescatarian because it is the plant based diet that resonates the most with me, my body, my health and my lifestyle.
Sources of protein for Pescatarians:
Fish (like salmon and tuna), I generally only try to eat fish on special occassions because it is very pricey and also in consideration of the environment.
Milk (as well as foods that contain milk such as yoghurt and cheese); I am obsessed with cheese, not only is it yummy but it also serves as a great source of protein.
Nuts (such as cashews, peanuts and almonds), these are my go-to snacks, especially when I am on the go.
Eggs are a huge source of protein and also form part of breakfast, which is said to ne the most important meal of the day. I eat about three eggs a week only.
Legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas), frpm humus to paneer, there is no limit to the delicious meals one can make from this yummy protein source.
Benefits of Eating Pescatarian:
Environmental benefits (especially when coupled with consciously eating sustainable seafoods)
Promotes heart health through its nutritional benefits (high omega, fresh fruits and vegetable intake)
Improved mental function
Improved digestive functioning
Food preferences vary from person to person and I strongly stand against 'food-shaming' , bullying, guilt-tripping and harrassing others into altering their diet. Exercising tolerance, open-mindedness and acceptance is far more important than dietary preferences.