While it’s key to include high protein foods in every meal, the rest of your plate should be loaded with whole plant foods – fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds and avocados.
Whole plant foods are associated with good (or neutral) health outcomes in prospective cohort studies with remarkable consistency. We can derive a reliable rule of thumb from the available science: whole (unrefined or minimally refined) plant foods are associated with a lower risk of cardiometabolic diseases, in comparison to animal-based foods and some refined plant-based foods.
Because of the impeccable track record of whole plant foods, well-planned whole-food plant-based diets are health promoting. However, it can be difficult to meet nutrient targets when one relies exclusively on relatively unprocessed plants. For instance, those with low appetites may benefit from added oils; while others may find it impractical to eat enough protein from whole plant sources alone.
But whatever kind of animal-free diet you choose, it’s important to eat generous amounts of unrefined plant foods.