So you want to go PLANT-BASED…

Have you considered going to a plant-based diet? What does that exactly mean?  SNCC’s Registered Dietitian
Melanie Mitchell shares her insight into deciding if the plant-based diet is right for you.   

What does plant-based mean?
A plant-based diet is one that is rich in fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains, beans, seeds, nuts, and herbs. Plant-based proteins such as soy, legumes, nuts, and seeds serve as protein sources. Oils, avocados, nuts, and seeds provide the necessary fat that the body requires.

What are the benefits of a plant-based diet?
Plants are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants which are known to help with disease prevention. Plant-based foods are also low in calories, protein, and fat therefore beneficial if weight management is your goal. However, just because a meal is plant-based or vegan it doesn’t ALWAYS mean low calorie. There are many vegan offerings at restaurants that are very high in calories, therefore, practice portion control.

Can I still eat meat if I am on a plant-based diet?
The short answer is yes, a plant-based diet is not necessarily a vegetarian diet. Lean animal protein such as eggs, low-fat dairy, turkey, chicken, and fish fit into a well-balanced diet. The ultimate goal is to eat mostly plant-based meals limited and to limit animal product intake.

What would a typical plant-based day look like?

  • Breakfast: whole-grain toast with smashed avocado and sunflower seeds
  • Snack: apple with almond butter
  • Lunch: Bean chili with Greek yogurt topped with sliced almonds
  • Snack: granola bar
  • Dinner: tofu with veggies stir fry and rice

I want to eat a plant-based diet however my family is not on board and really enjoys animal products.
When cooking for a household, it can be difficult to blend the goals of a plant-based diet with diets heavy in meat and dairy. The good news is that many meat-containing recipes can be adjusted to offer a plant-based modification. For example, lasagna can be made with meat or with vegetables. Utilize the internet for meal alternatives and modifications as well as recipe adjustments for more or fewer servings. Meal prepping on the weekends or batch cooking can help alleviate the stress of trying to meet the needs of your household while achieving your goal of going plant-based. Utilize the cookbooks and sites below to navigate plant-based cooking.

If you are a patient and have questions about your diet, please ask your oncologist at your next appointment about receiving a complimentary nutritional session with Melanie Mitchell, SNCC Registered Dietitian.

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