Regardless of what your dietary preferences are, most medical or nutrition experts would tell you that Americans in general would benefit greatly by increasing their intake of plants. What’s so great about plants, you ask. The answer can be addressed in these 3 topics: Fiber, Macro- & Micro- nutrients, and Zero Cholesterol.
Fiber – The Great Digestive Aide!
Fiber is extremely important for our digestive system, in addition to maintaining balance in the microbiome. Most American diets are lacking in the necessary fiber creating an imbalance in the nutritional value of each meal. It is the microbiome that builds a strong immune system to fight many diseases including cancer, heart disease, and the inflammation impacting most auto-immune diseases. Fiber can only be found in whole (not processed) plant-based foods. If we process plants (i.e. bleached flour, white rice) we lose the benefit of the fiber that was naturally in these foods. There is no fiber in the animal products we eat, and therefore a diet that is heavy in animal products would leave us deficient in this valuable nutrient.
Macronutrient and Micronutrient Density
When many of us hear somebody is following a strictly plant-based/vegan diet invariably the first question asked is: “Where do you get your protein/calcium/iron?” The answer is accurately "plants, plants, plants!" Historically, we have been taught that meat is the best source of protein and iron, and dairy is the most efficient source for calcium. That is not necessarily so. There are many plant-based foods that are high in protein and iron such as nuts, beans, soy, and seeds, to name a few. The iron and protein from plant-based foods are different than what is in animal-based foods, but our bodies use it very similarly. A plant-based diet gets calcium from most nuts, and green, leafy vegetables – such as broccoli, cabbage and okra (but not spinach).
Additionally, there are many vitamins/nutrients that we get from plant-based foods that we do not get from animal products. The best known are Vitamins A & C, flavonoids and as mentioned above, dietary fiber. The only notable vitamins that are lacking in a strictly plant-based diet are B12 and Vitamin D.
Cholesterol and It’s Role In Our Bodies
All animals (including humans) have cholesterol in their blood. The human body needs some cholesterol to make hormones, Vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods, but, for most of us, our bodies make all the cholesterol we need. We do not need any additional cholesterol from our foods. When we add the cholesterol from ingesting animal products, we get into trouble. Our bodies do not need the extra cholesterol, and we don’t process this “outside” cholesterol very well. The added cholesterol from animal products that we consume combines with other substances to form plaque inside the artery walls, which leads to heart disease. Plant based foods have zero cholesterol.
READ THE INGREDIENTS has a mission to offer very healthy products to the consumer. This means we use 100% whole food ingredients, and we do not add sugar (other than what is naturally in our ingredients)/sweetening substitutes to any of our products. Within the next couple of months and moving forward we will only be baking 100% plant-based products. We have taken the eggs out of our recipes, and we still have the same great taste and consistency. At the same time, we will be offering additional flavors of our loaves. While we currently bake a 100% plant-based Banana Nut Loaf, we felt it was very important to make this change to all of our products so that we could provide you with the healthiest, best tasting, most convenient meal or snack offering on the market! You don’t need to follow a strictly plant-based diet to appreciate the great taste and health benefits that our Loaves and Big Bites provide!