A Diet to Promote Health and Longevity

While the concept of plant-based eating is not a new one, it is often misunderstood.  We hope to show you that this way of eating is healthy, easy, fun, sustainable and cheap!

As the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic hit our pockets, combined with a greater sense of self-preservation, we at Soya Life would like to walk you through the steps of creating a plant-based eating lifestyle.

What we all know

  • Plant foods (veggies, fruits, beans and legumes, nuts, and seeds) are healthy for us.
  • Plant proteins are cheaper than animal proteins.

We know these things so why do we not follow a plant-based diet?

Many people are not motivated sufficiently to follow a plant-based diet due to the fact that there is an enormous amount of dietary confusion caused by media hype, misrepresentation of the research behind food principles, and unclear/fuzzy food guidelines provided by various national bodies.

Secondly, most people are completely unaware of the overwhelming body of research that has been conducted where entire populations have been investigated to understand correlations between lifestyle, environment, age, gender, genetics, and the occurrence of lifestyle disease. Once one understands the basis for a plant-based diet there is NO turning back! 

What exactly is plant-based eating?

  • NOT a fad! It is a long-term and more beneficial way to health than a 2-week/2-month/2-year fad.
  • NO obsessive controlling of your intake of any one nutrient, such as carbohydrates, fat, cholesterol, or omega-3 fats.
  • BALANCED diets including vegan/vegetarian–based lifestyles.
  • It is a lifestyle of food choices that mostly comes from WHOLE UNPROCESSED PLANT-BASED FOODS: “nothing bad added, nothing good taken away”.
  • It is not “All or nothing” thinking: it is about understanding that plant foods (which have greater protective nutritional factors and fewer disease-promoting ones) are healthier than animal foods and that in general, unprocessed foods are healthier than processed foods. Knowing these 2 basic factors makes food choices therefore, so much easier to make.

How to start eating plant-based foods

Use the Traffic Light model developed by Dr Greger (and detailed in his book “How Not to Die”).

TRAFFIC LIGHT MODEL: Use this as a guide to plant-based eating.

Aim to eat this way 80% of the time.

 DefinitionWhy?Daily foodsNumber of servings/day
GREEN LIGHT
= GO!

EAT MORE
Unprocessed plant foods
Nothing bad added, nothing good taken away
These foods have MORE of the protective nutrients and FEWER of the disease-promoting factorsLegumes*
Berries
Other fruits
Cruciferous vegetables
Green vegetables
Other vegetables
Flaxseeds
Nuts
Spices
Whole grains
Water
Exercise
3
1
3
1

2

2

1
1
1
3

6-8 glasses
1
AMBER LIGHT
= CAUTION

EAT FEWER
Processed plant foods
And
Unprocessed animal foods
Suggested role of these foods: to promote the consumption of Green-light foods, e.g. having oats porridge (green-light) with almond milk OR having legumes with a little tomato sauceExamples:
Refined grains (white flour, mealie meal, white rice)
Almond milk (almonds are green light)
RED LIGHT
= STOP

EAT EVEN FEWER
Ultra-processed plant foods
And
Processed animal foods
Suggested role of these foods: to promote the consumption of Green-light foodsExamples:
Packet sauces
Box foods
Sweets

The main point is that the healthiest diet is one that maximizes the intake of whole plant foods and minimizes the intake of animal-based foods and ‘junk” foods (high on sugar and/or salt and/or cholesterol and/or trans fats).

*Legumes include soybeans, chickpeas, lentils, butter beans, kidney beans and many many more.   SOYA should be a fundamental component of your DAILY diet due to its phytonutrient component and the fact that it is the only legume that it is a COMPLETE PROTEIN.

Soya Life has 3 products that make incorporating soya easy:

  1. Soya Life Premium Porridge 500g
  2. Soya Life Breakfast Porridge 1kg
  3. Soya Life Instant Meal Replacement Drink 500g

Look out for both of these in Dischem.

Look out for our next article where we explain more about the research behind Plant-Based eating.

References and acknowledgements:

Dr M. Greger: “How Not to Die”: this book is highly recommended reading