Is eating more vegetables and cutting back on meat really good for your health? Dr. Donald Hensrud, director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program, encourages people to include more plant-based foods in their diets.
“A plant-based diet in general has more antioxidants, more beneficial nutrients. It’s usually lower in saturated fat. So there are a number of different reasons why it’s healthier,” says Dr. Hensrud.
The benefits don’t stop there.
“Eating a plant-based diet is better for our health, for weight, for heart disease, for cholesterol, for diabetes, for all kinds of different reasons. And it can be enjoyable. That’s the most important thing. It’s not eating tree bark and twigs for fiber. It’s eating good-tasting food,” says Dr. Hensrud.
So what kinds of foods does he recommend? Slowly work in plant-based foods, such as olive oil, vegetables, fruits, fish, nuts and whole grains. He also says to try new foods.
“Mother Nature was pretty smart and put the right concentration and combination of different nutrients in whole grains and other plant-based foods,” says Dr. Hensrud.