Vibrant Living Breakdown: Plant-Based Diet
9 Ways of Vibrant Living is Sage Collective’s guidebook to a full, happy and high-quality life. Building off our fourth component, moderate caloric intake, the fifth component of vibrant living is a plant-based diet. Notice we didn’t use the word “vegetarian.” That’s because the key to a plant-based diet is practicing moderation. We’ll discuss more below.
As we discussed in Healthy Eating Tips for Seniors, older adults require fewer calories, but the same, if not more, nutrients to maintain wellbeing. That’s why a nutrient-dense diet is more important than ever for those 55+. Foods like fresh fruit, vegetables and legumes constitute the basis of a healthy diet.
While meat is a good source of protein, iron and vitamin B12, red meat in particular is often guilty of being high in saturated fat. Consuming saturated fat contributes to higher blood pressure and increased risk of heart disease. Meat products, therefore, are a double-edged sword. Depending on the cut of meat one chooses and the methods of cooking, that daily source of protein has the potential to do more harm than help.
Meanwhile, plant-based alternatives to meat, such as beans, lentils, nuts, seeds and soy provide fiber and prebiotics (good for gut health) in addition to containing sustainable carbohydrates and healthy fats. The latter helps to balance blood sugars and lower the risk of heart and cardiovascular disease. While the old plant-based classics, such as tofu, tempeh, beans and lentil are all good choices, recent innovations in the plant-based meat industry have introduced options like plant-based burgers that “bleed”. With the right recipes and supplies, plant-based eating can be delicious and nutritious.
At Sage Collective, in addition to our programmatic focus on health and wellness, we aim to develop and curate culinary programs (such as nutrition education, cooking experiences and group dining experiences at our facility) that focus on fresh, healthy, primarily plant-based diets. While meat is welcome to remain a small part of the menu, we seek to prioritize diet, portion control and alternative (and delicious) plant-based options.
Whether for dinner or in spirit, we invite you to join us on our journey to intentional, plant-based eating. Start small, like with meatless Mondays, and we’ll go from there together.