Are you interested in replacing some of the animal-based foods in your diet with plant-based foods, but wonder if they’re going to be nutritious enough? If so, just hang with me – I’m going to address that right here!
Are you interested in replacing some of the animal-based foods in your diet with plant-based foods, but you wonder if they’re going to be nutritious enough? Stick with me, I’m going to address that in this video.
I’m wellness educator Stacee Lynn and I help busy female entrepreneurs healthy up their hustle by teaching them how to get a lot more whole plant-based foods into their body every day, easily and deliciously.
In this video, I’m going to talk a little bit about what whole plant foods offer, and then I’m going to talk a little bit about what the requirements are for us on a daily basis in terms of the macronutrients… protein, carbohydrates, and fats – because that’s where a lot of people get confused.
The bottom line is that ‘whole’ plants-based foods are in fact the most nutrient-dense, nourishing foods on the planet. The reason for that is because they not only offer all the macro-nutrients that we need like carbohydrates, fats, and protein, but they also have all the micro-nutrients that we need like vitamins and minerals. Of course, they’re also brimming with antioxidants, which are incredibly important to good health. And… phytochemicals (or phytonutrients), which you don’t hear a lot of talk about – those are the chemicals that protect plants when they’re out in the elements, and when we put them in our body, they help protect us too, so they’re incredibly powerful. With all of that goodness going on, how could plants not be incredibly healthful and beneficial, right?The bottom line is that 'whole' plants-based foods are in fact the most nutrient-dense, nourishing foods on the planet.Click To Tweet
I think where a lot of people get confused, and why we get worried that plant-based foods don’t have enough of the macronutrients that we need (fat, protein, carbohydrates) is because most of us don’t really know what our actual requirements are for these nutrients. What we need for good health in terms of those macronutrients is very different than what most of us believe, and those beliefs are based on all of the things we’ve heard over the years… all of the confusion that’s been created – mainly (and intentionally) by big industry and good marketing. It’s unfortunate, but that’s just kind of where a lot of this confusion starts.
Basically, what the science tells us is that (on average) we need only about 10 percent of our calories every day from Protein, and only about 10 percent coming from Fat. Surprising, right?
Now granted, some people may be able to (or even need to) eat more than 10% of calories from Fat to maintain their ideal healthy body weight, everyone is a little different. But as far as what the human body ‘requires’ for excellent health, it’s around 10 percent on average.
This all means that carbohydrates should account for about 80 percent of our calorie intake every day. Why is that? Well when you think about what these different nutrients do in the body, it helps you understand why the ratio is what it is.
Basically, our body’s largest requirement every day is energy. We need energy around the clock, right? When we’re awake AND when we’re asleep – our body requires energy just to perform its basic functions, let alone everything else we do. So, what does it use for energy? It prefers to use carbohydrates for energy. Why? Carbohydrates break down very easily into glucose, and glucose is our body’s preferred fuel for energy. It provides energy to our entire body, from top to bottom. Beings that energy is what our body needs most, and it prefers to get that energy from carbohydrates, it makes sense that that’s where the bulk of our calories should come from, yes?
Here’s the thing though – we don’t want to be downing just any old carbohydrates… we want to stick with the ‘unrefined’ carbohydrates that are in ‘whole’ plant foods, and stay away from the ‘refined’ carbs that have been stripped of most of their goodness, and tend to wreak havoc and cause a lot of problems for us.
Protein is important also, but we don’t require nearly as much of it on a daily basis (compared to carbohydrates). Protein helps our body build new tissues, right? Obviously, infants require a bit more protein than adults or older children because they’re growing so rapidly, but even human breast milk (the perfect food for a human baby) is not terribly high in protein. So since our body doesn’t spend the ‘majority’ of its time and energy building new tissue every day, it stands to reason that our daily protein requirements would be fairly small.
Then of course fats are important too, but as with protein, their role in our daily bodily functions is much more minimal than our energy requirements – that’s why it’s closer to 10 percent on those as well.
So that’s a very high-level view of what we need to achieve nutritionally. And the great thing is… that ‘whole’ plant-based foods have all of those nutrients within them! Believe it or not, pretty much all whole plant foods have some protein in them, which shocks people – it certainly shocked me. Now granted, some of them have trace amounts of protein, and some have large amounts of protein… like some whole grains, legumes (beans, peas, lentils, that sort of thing), nuts, and seeds. So, there’s some that are very high in protein, and then there are others that are moderate in the protein department – but plenty of protein overall.
The fact is, you’ll get far more protein than you even need if you eat nothing but a well-rounded ‘whole’ plant-based foods diet. And the good news is… any excess protein you happen to consume from whole plant foods won’t be damaging to your body like excess protein from animal-based foods has proven to be. You just don’t have to worry about that kind of thing.
Anyways, that’s just a good jumping off point for you to do some research on your own. I’d highly recommend checking out NutritionFacts.org which is a nutrition website – it’s fantastic! They cover just about everything you want to know in terms of nutrition, and it’s all science-based reporting. They’re not funded by any private interest, it’s a nonprofit. It’s run by Dr. Michael Greger, who is world renowned and highly respected – so be sure to check that out.
I know that switching your diet can be very challenging, even when tip-toeing into it. You’re probably thinking something like… ‘what do I do?, or, where do I start?’ – right? So to help you out, I put together a FREE resource for you that I think will be really helpful. It’s an 18-page guide called Foods for Thriving and it has just all kinds of wonderful things in it… a food substitutions chart, easy meal ideas, frequently asked questions/answers, and a clickable resource list. Be sure to grab that – I think it’ll be a huge help to you.
So bottom line… I encourage you to get a lot more ‘whole’ plant-based foods into your diet every day – I know that they’ll give you more energy and help you get (or stay) healthy – now and down the road. If this has been helpful to you, and you think it may help someone you know, please share it, and spread the goodness!
I’ll be back with more videos that go a little more in-depth in some of these areas, but for now, I just wanted to give you sort of a jumping off point, and encourage you to do some more research on all of this fascinating stuff! Anyway, I hope it’s been of help to you my friend. Take good care!