What if I am invited to someone’s place for dinner?
Well, if you are a flexitarian, that shouldn’t be an issue since you have allowed some flexibility in your nutrition plan for situations like this. If you are a vegetarian or pescatarian, there is usually an option on the table; unless the person is making a meat lasagna, that would be not easy to opt-out.
In all cases, you might be able to prevent some uncomfortable situation and set yourself up for success by simply asking your host if you can bring a salad, and if that tactic doesn’t work, be honest. Compassion and honesty are the best policy!
That could also be an opportunity for you to share why you have chosen this goal. Caution don’t be a preacher; no one likes to hear that what they are doing is wrong and what the other one is doing is better.
What if I am going out for a meal?
Be prepared! Always look at the restaurant menu before choosing where you will eat. While plant-based meal options are more prominent than ever, it isn’t always on the menu. If you forget to look at the menu in advance and end up in a place where you have no options, choose a garden salad, or ask for a menu item without the meat
What if I eat meat by mistake?
As a plant-based eater, you could realize chicken in your wrap or beef in your salad. No big deal, you’ve eaten meat before. On the other hand, if you are going for the vegan option, you will need to research what ingredients are vegan. Condiments like mayonnaise, Worcestershire, or horseradish sauce may contain animal products. Make sure that you are well informed about vegan-friendly products
Is potato chips plant-based eating?
Yes, potato chips are technically a plant-based food but beware of junk food! It’s a highly processed food that often contains a large amount of sodium.
Suppose you stick to the recommendations of the daily intake of 2300 mg of sodium and 50 mg of sugar. In that case, you will quickly realize that eating junk food is unsustainable since a bag of chips (party size) contains about 2550 mg of sodium and 15 g of sugar. A 4 oz chocolate bar can contain 80 mg of sodium and 56 g of sugar. Add a can of regular soda (or pop) to the mix, and you now have an additional 30 mg of sodium and 41 g of sugar.
What about milk?
Studies show that humans stop producing the enzyme that metabolizes the lactose in breast milk after an early age in life. That said, it is fair to say that we become lactose intolerant very early in our childhood. It is estimated that 75% of us are lactose intolerant.
Milk and other dairy products are the top sources of saturated fat in the American diet, contributing to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have also linked dairy to an increased risk of breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers.
Yet, many people in our nation continue to consume cow milk. Choosing plant-based nutrition can allow you to plant-based milk like almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, etc. Many options are now available at most grocery stores.
What about fat?
Fat is a little bit harder to explain and a bit more complex to understand. As you’ve heard, there is good fat and bad fat. The number one rule with fat is to stay away from trans-fat; as soon as you see it on a label in the grocery store, put that item back on the shelf.
A general rule is that no more than 20–30% of calories should come from fat. The good news is that eating more vegetables and fruits can reduce the amount of fat intake.