Most of us in the food industry realize by now that plant-based foods are far healthier than those containing animal-based ingredients. Not only do plant-based diets lend to improved health, they’re tasty as well, so we don’t feel deprived. Whether in the corporate, educational or concessions environment, plant-based meals don’t have to be “blah.” If you’re menu includes several meat options, you may want to consider the following.
Plant-based diets offer many health benefits. From cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure to Type 2 diabetes and obesity or lipid disorders, plant-based diets are ideal for those suffering from health conditions. Fruits, vegetables and products low in animal fats can lead to a longer life with fewer health issues.
Plant-based meals don’t mean a life existing completely without meat. Fish and lean meats, when consumed in a modest amount, are fine. Unfortunately, many live busy lives and find themselves eating fast-food burgers, loaded pizzas, and far too many products containing animal fat or meals where meat is the main entree.
Type 2 diabetes is completely preventable, according to research, when patients adhere to a plant-based diet. By 2035, the number of individuals who suffer from diabetes is forecast to soar to almost 600 million, according to the International Diabetes Federation.
What are the leading causes of death in the U.S.? Two include stroke and heart disease, so it’s important to control high blood pressure (hypertension). 33% of Americans suffer from hypertension, however, a diet heavy with fresh fruits and vegetables can lower blood pressure and therefore the risk of death, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.
We all know the dangers of obesity, and a plant-based diet can lead to weight loss. Whole grain, fruits, and vegetables are filling, so most who adhere to this type of diet eat less, which means fewer calories consumed. Not only do those who eat mostly plant-based foods, along with a minimal amount of meat, weigh less, most have a lower body mass index.
According to Baum & Whiteman in New York, a restaurant consultancy group, plant-based diets will be THE food trend in the new year. Mintel, another market research group, has claimed to see a 25% increase in vegetarian claims in products sold in grocery stores between 2012 and 2016, along with an increase of more than 250% in vegan claims. Research also shows that nearly a third of Americans practice meat-free days.
Veggie subs, veggie pizzas, and even veggie burgers – it’s what consumers are eating today, with some brands using “faux” meat and vegan cheese to entice the population and help them make smarter food choices versus eating highly processed foods or those containing substantial amounts of animal fat.
Whether in the corporate or educational dining arena or catering, restaurant, or concessions, it’s clear that plant-based diets are THE trend in 2018, and perhaps beyond. For all of your contract foodservices needs trust Gourmet Services Inc. for fresh, quality ingredients; and a healthier plate that’s appealing to your patrons, but never sacrifices when it comes to taste.