the plant forward trend
Lately the term plant forward is popping up in articles and on forums. It is not as popular as the term plant-based but it is definitely a growing term. What does plant forward actually mean and is it a useful term?
With more and more people caring about the environment, sustainability and health there is definitely a shift taking place towards more plant-based, vegetarian food and veganism. Does the plant forward trend also fit into this list?
What does the plant-forward trend mean?
My understanding of it is that there are a large group of people aware they are eating too many animal products, and are keen on cutting-down their consumption. Either for health reasons, animal cruelty or because they understand that eating more plants is far more sustainable for our planet. However, they may also not ready or willing to give up on animal intake completely.
Some of my own friends fall in this group; they like to eat plant-based during the work-week but not over the weekend. By doing so it gives them a positive feeling about themselves as they are contributing positively to the state of our planet, animals and their personal health. This is the group of people that would fit under the label of adopting a ‘plant-forward’ diet.
People that follow a plant forward diet are willing to change from an animal focused diet to a diet where plants play a more central role in their meal. This may mean smaller portions of animal protein with a greater diversity of plants in their meal, or having multiple plant-based meals a week. Millennials seem to be the most active in this trend.
What are the benefits
Let’s break it up into health and environmental benefits:
- Promotes a healthier immune system
- More fiber rich food
- Less saturated fats
Eating more plants has proven to benefit your health greatly, it reduces your chances of cancer, cardiovascular diseases and improves healthy cholesterol levels. Note: highly processed plant-based food would have the opposite effect.
- Less water usage
- Less deforestation
- Less greenhouse gas emissions
You can reduce your environmental footprint significantly by following a plant-forward diet. A full vegan diet however can result in a far greater reduction of your environmental footprint up to 70%.
The plant-forward trend is becoming part of our lexicon. Is it a good thing? That is personal for everyone. Some people may see it as a positive step, while others may think it doesn’t go far enough. Everyone needs to do what they think is best for them based on the information they have available.
I definitely like the trend, and I am all for people eating more plants. If that means part-time plant-based, vegan, vegetarian or plant-forward I encourage it all. Good on you for making a move and start a healthier lifestyle that benefits not only yourself but also the planet.