A Plant-Based Diet and Eating Out

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Adding plant-based diet options on the menu can benefit your customers as well as your business.

What is a plant-based diet? 

This term includes the variety of diets that favor plants over animal-derived foods. The main ingredients of such meals are vegetables, fruit, legumes, and whole grains. Like any other diet, they require thorough planning to fulfill the consumer's nutritional needs, especially protein. Contrary to the common impression among meat-eaters, people who follow a plant-based diet are not suffering from a lack of nutrients. The variety of these diets offers a wide range of protein-rich foods. Except for a strict vegan diet, they suggest obtaining proteins from eggs and milk (for lacto-ovo vegetarians), fish (for pescatarians), or small amounts of meat (for flexitarians).1  

Benefits of plant-based meals  

The range of reasons people choose to switch to a plant-based diet is quite wide. It varies from personal preferences and animal rights issues to environmental concerns like reducing carbon footprint. One of the reasons that started gaining popularity rapidly is the associated health benefits. Consumers who decide to follow a whole food plant-based diet focus on whole products and minimizing any processed foods. Following it permanently may help individuals live longer and decrease the risk of certain illnesses and health issues, including mental ones. It improves the gut biome, metabolism, and overall state of the immune system.2 Plant-derived meals help to prolong fullness due to higher amounts of fiber.  

Meeting nutritional needs with plant-based protein  

The most common plants high in protein are lentils, beans, seeds, chickpeas, and nuts. They are simple natural sources of energy that bring a lot of health benefits. Many plant-based recipes include soy-based products like tofu, tempeh, soy yogurts, and soy milk. They are widely used as substitutes for popular cow milk products. Depending on the brand and kind of product, plant-derived foods contain a similar amount of basic good nutrients as their animal-derived alternatives but also include additional benefits for health. 

Vegan meals on the menu attract new customers  

A lot of consumers who follow plant-based diets encounter difficulties while eating out. Most restaurants offer very limited plant-based food lists on their menus if they offer any at all. However, meat substitutes like plant-based burgers, seitan, and soy sausages are getting more popular.  

One of their advantages over simple plant-derived products is that producers like SWEET HARVEST make sure to include a wider range of ingredients to make the meals contain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that would cover the nutritional needs of consumers. It helps consumers maintain their diet without being worried about B12 and omega-3 fatty acids deficiency.  

Sources: 

1. What is a plant-based diet and why should you try it? - Harvard Health 

2. What is a plant-based diet? | BBC Good Food