What is predominantly plant-based? Eating a plant-based diet can mean many things to different people. Here’s our take and why.
The plant-based movement has exploded over the last decade and continues to grow.
There’s plenty of evidence that eating more plant foods, and fewer animal products, offers positive benefits for personal and public health, planetary health, and the animals within the food system.
If you’ve been around PBJs for a while, you’ve probably noticed that we like to use the term “predominantly plant-based” to describe how our families eat.
Understandably, we’re frequently asked why we follow a predominantly plant-based diet, what exactly that means, and if that means that we don’t recommend vegan diets.
Here are those answers!
What is a predominantly plant-based diet?
A predominantly plant-based diet emphasizes whole plant foods but allows for flexibility as needed and desired.
For our families, this looks like eating whole plant foods 90% of the time, with the other 10% of the time allowing for animal products.
For example, perhaps a family member wants to be able to eat a conventional burger once a month or enjoy conventional cheese on a sandwich or pizza. It allows for things like milk chocolate or eggs on occasion without guilt or shame associated with doing so.
Personally, this way of eating has afforded our families a better relationship with our food, a more intuitive eating experience, and overall more satisfaction and less restriction.
Again, this is what works for our household. What works best for yours may not look exactly the same – and that’s okay!
Why do we advocate for it?
At PBJs, we have always followed a predominantly plant-based diet and always advocated for ALL variations of plant-based diets. This includes vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian diets, and the like.
As our mission is to get families to eat more plants, we don’t promote animal products on our channels or in articles.
Personally, we both have backgrounds in eating disorder treatment and have found this way of eating more flexible for those trying to eat intuitively. Note that this is not to say you can’t be vegan AND an intuitive eater. It just doesn’t work for everyone.
That’s why we do the best we can to encourage an empathetic, welcoming space for every family, which includes taking a personalized nutrition approach.
What does the science say?
We are medical professionals, not influencers. Our personal health habits don’t influence our guidance. We are here to educate and support families following all variations of dietary patterns.
That’s why we rely on the evidence and follow the science which we share with you.
Current science doesn’t allow us to parse out whether eating exclusively plants is better for health than eating primarily plants. We know that ALL plant-based eating patterns, including well-planned vegan diets, are safe and beneficial.
So, do we advise against a fully vegan diet? Of course not! If a vegan diet works well for your family, then we completely support you. We’re here to help you feed your family well and safely.
The PBJ Bottom Line
At the end of the day, PBJs is an inclusive community intended to bring more people to the table. We encourage everyone who wants to join the cause to do so in the way that works best for their household.
Guilt and shame around feeding choices have no place here.
Let’s get more plants on the plate!
Chime In: What does a predominantly plant-based diet look like in your home?
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