Plant-Based V Plant-Forward: How to decide which is right for you.

This article provides you with the information to explore the differences between plant-forward and plant-based diets and provides a way to think about which one may be the best fit for you.  

If you’ve started seeing the word plant based or made from plants everywhere and are wondering what it means and how it is different from plant forward, or vegan or vegetarian)–then this article is for you!

I’m Christianna Gozzi, plant-forward registered dietitian and culinary educator and I’m here to help you transition to a plant forward diet with joy and simplicity 

If you want to eat more plants but don’t know where to start, grab your free copy of my Plant Forward Meal Prep Made Easy Guide which includes my proven method for planning and prepping plant forward meals –plus a full month of plant forward lunch recipes!

Plant-based v Plant-forward: What’s the Difference?

All plant-based diets, plant-forward included, are made up of primarily plant-based foods. Plant-forward eating differs from other plant-based diets because it allows for meat in small quantities relative to plants. 

What does plant-based mean?

Plant-based foods are defined by the US Department of Agriculture as “foods originating from plant sources.” This could be a single raw ingredient like a strawberry or a plant-based burger made with a bunch of ingredients. 

Fruits and vegetables, grain-based foods, beans and legumes, tofu and tempeh, nuts and seeds, and herbs and spices are all examples of plant-based foods.

You will see plant based diet defined differently by different people but in general, I find that when people say they are following a “plant based diet”  they mean only plants, no animal products –similar to a vegan diet. 

If you want a deep dive into Plant Forward Diet, including the reasons why people are drawn to it and how to get started, check out this video Plant Forward Nutrition 101

Which is right for you: plant-based v plant-forward?

The best dietary pattern for you is one that you can sustain in the long term, that brings enjoyment oto your plate and supports your health. For many people a plant-forward diet strikes a nice balance. Here are some questions to ask yourself in deciding whether plant-based or plant-forward is right for you. 

-Do I have moral or ethical concerns about eating animal products?

-Do I enjoy a variety of plant based foods?

-How many plant based foods do I already eat?

-How practical is it for me to remove animal products from my diet?

Questions to ask to yourself to help you decide whether a plant based or plant forward diet it right for you.

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