Powered by plants… why 2.5 million Australians are choosing a plant-based diet
Today is International Plant Power Day, to celebrate we are taking a deep dive into the world of plant-based living and its continued growth in Australia.
In 2022 the number of vegetarians and vegans in Australia reached a record high, with research suggesting as many as 2.5 million Australians are choosing to consume a plant-based diet. This has driven huge growth within the grocery industry, with more plant and vegetable-based products available on shelves now than ever before.
So, what is a plant-based diet? And what is it about vegan and vegetarianism that drives more and more Australians to switch to a plant fuelled lifestyle? A plant-based diet and lifestyle is one that is made up predominately (or entirely if you are vegan) of whole, low-processed fruit, vegetables, legumes, grains, seeds, and nuts. There are many reasons for adopting a plant-based diet including ethical, environmental, and health-based outcomes.
So, let’s look at the reasons why so many Australians are choosing to live a more plant-powered life.
The ethics – A plant-based diet opposes the harm and exploitation of animals, directly and indirectly in the creation and consumption of animal products.
Environmental impact – Planted-based diets are more sustainable and require fewer natural resources to cultivate, especially when compared to the production of animal-based products. They produce fewer greenhouse emissions making them less harmful to the environment.
Health benefits – According to Nutrition Australia there are a huge number of health benefits that come with switching to a plant-based diet. Eating a diet heavy in vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, legumes, and whole grains has been associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. A plant-based diet is also said to reduce your risk of cancer and has a positive impact on digestion and gut health.
There are many ways to eat a plant-based diet with some lifestyles more flexible than others. Search the terms Flexitarian, Pescetarian, Vegan, and Vegetarian to find out more about the specifics of each dietary lifestyle. With a range of benefits, increasing the number of vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains we consume can only have positive impacts on our health and the environment. So, have a think about ways that you can incorporate more of these foods into your diet, and reap the rewards.