Plant-Based Diet for Beginners: Guide to Getting Started

People are nowadays adopting Plant-based foods in their daily lifestyle. Most individuals are switching their lifestyle to a vegan lifestyle because of many reasons. However, every individual might have their own.  Most of them include a strong concern for the environment and health-pertaining benefits.

But sticking to it, in the long run, is very daunting and demanding. Plant-based diets or vegan foods focus solely on foods and ingredients from plants. One of the most powerful steps you can take to improve your health, boost energy levels, and prevent chronic diseases is to move to a plant-based diet.

Keeping all this in mind, below is the basic guide to getting started with a plant-based diet for beginners:

What is a Plant-Based Diet?

There is a lot of confusion amongst many people around the term ‘plant-based’ and ‘vegan diets.’ The plant-based diet generally means, in simple words eating more of a whole foods diet which mostly includes fruits and vegetables from plants, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds. The vegan diet eliminates all sorts of animal products. Veganism is all about avoiding animal products, while a plant-based diet does not necessarily do that.  And being both can also go hand in hand. To improve your lifestyle and incorporate healthy eating habits, adopting this is definitely a good option.

What to Eat, Limit, and Avoid in Plant-Based Meals?

There are many arguments and suggestions that go on with the basics, from how to start a plant-based diet to what to eat, what to avoid, and a lot more. In general, a whole-food list can be great to start with.

What to Eat

  • Fruits such as berries, peaches, bananas, etc.
  • Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, kale, etc.
  • Whole grains are an effective food in the whole dietary plan. It mainly includes oats, brown rice, quinoa, barley, farro, etc.
  • Legumes such as peas, lentils, and peanuts.

These are some general plant-based food that is included in dietary plans.

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Apart from this, there are beverages, some condiments, seeds, and nuts. Here, supplementation might also play a great role. It also gives similar results to a plant-based diet. Useful advice on might help in letting you know more about the benefits and role of supplements.

What to Avoid?

What not to eat strictly depends on the individual choice. But in most cases, people avoid eating the following foods:

● Junk or fast food

● Sweetened sugar and beverages

● Refined grains such as refined pasta and white rice

● Processed foods

● Packaged foods and drinks

Adopting green life is having a healthier and more holistic approach to life. Thus, eating unhealthy foods that might be bad for the gut should be avoided at all costs.

Plant-Based Diet Meal Plan- 1-Day Sample Menu

Here is a simple and effective plant-based diet for beginners to start with:

● After waking up: A glass of hot water with squeezed lemon.

● Breakfast: A banana smoothie with other fresh fruits. Or either bowl of oats and nuts.

● Lunch: Cooked quinoa, broccoli/ Kale, or bowl full of sweet potatoes, Brussels, sprouts, and lemon sauce.

● Dinner: Mushroom stir-fry

Scientifically Proven Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

As said above, it is often touted as the healthiest approach with numerous proven health benefits because it is sustainable.

Some of them are mentioned below:

● It supports the immune system

● It helps to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight for the long term

● It improves heart and cardiovascular health.

● It also lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes

● Improves kidney function

● Lowers the level of bad cholesterol, which is harmful to health.

● Reduces the risk of certain cancers

● Lastly, it improves athletic performance

According to Forbes reports, it also helps in promoting sustainable weight and reduces the risk of mortality. These were some of the proven benefits of a plant-based diet.

Potential Disadvantages of Starting a Plant-Based Diet?

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One of the main cons that come at the beginning while starting out is having potential nutritional deficiencies. It is one of the biggest challenges faced at the beginning. Apart from this, sometimes the diet becomes protein deficient. Animals, milk, eggs, and dairy products contain the necessary amounts of amino acids for protein. Plant-based proteins are incomplete protein sources unless properly combined. Make sure to have enough protein ingredients.


Sticking and following a plant-based lifestyle is tough. It requires a lot of patience and practice. Thus planning can do wonders. While on this journey of the plant-based spectrum, one night falls into some nutritional deficiencies. Thus it might need some supplements to compensate for those deficiencies. Publication medically reviewed by Melissa Mitri, MS, RD claimed that supplements might give the journey a boost and provide a healthy approach. But before starting with any diet plan, consider consulting a good nutritionist or dietician.