Thursday 30th April 2020

By mira

Chai time with Bettina Campolucci Bordi – Plant-based vs Vegan

I spoke with Bettina Caompolucci Bordi last week on my Chai Time series about her time during lockdown and her new book, The 7 day Vegan Challenge, what she’s enjoying most during this time at home and why she became vegan in the first place. She touched upon the term ‘plant-based’ and why this term is more inclusive and flexible than ‘vegan’. This is something that came up when I launched my café – and has really interested me, so I thought I’d go into this a little more:

The term plant based has become widely popular throughout the past 10 years, and its versatility allows it to define so many different types of diets. A plant-based diet usually consists of food that are entirely or mostly from plants. Some may still choose to eat certain animal products; however, this is usually kept to a minimum, and is often referred to as a flexitarian diet.

Others may also use the term plant based to describe a diet that is not only plant-based, but also minimally processed, and therefore tend to avoid certain oils, processed grains and other foods such as vegan burgers or cheese, that may otherwise be consumed if vegan. Experts suggest that this tendency to avoid processed foods, is what primarily gives plant-based diets a nutritional edge. With almost 90% of us not consuming the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables each day, following a plant-based diet is also a great way to help increase your intake, and ensure you are giving your body essential vitamins and minerals.

Veganism however reaches far beyond a diet and instead encompasses a lifestyle, that avoids consuming, using or mistreating animals in any way. This includes avoiding cosmetics, medication, vaccines or any products that were made using animal testing. The overall aim is to make choices that have minimal impact on animals and to an extent the environment in which we all live in. Although a lifestyle many would love to commit too, it can leave very little room for individual preferences or limitations. This is why many people often start off as vegan and then choose to adopt a wholefood, plant-based diet, that supports a more flexible approach.

Generally, increasing your consumption of fruit and vegetables and reducing your intake of animal products has been found to alleviate the risk of developing chronic illnesses like heart disease, cancer and diabetes, and reduce inflammation in the body.

For more on Bettina, visit her website

and follow her on instagram @bettina_kitchen

And her beautiful new book

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