If you count potato chips, a lot of Americans have been eating a semi-plant-based diet for years… which begs the question: What exactly is a plant-based diet? Researchers at the American College of Cardiology recently studied three iterations of plant-based diets to find that, while a higher intake of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables was associated with a “substantially lower risk of heart disease,” a plant-based diet that emphasized “less healthy plant foods like sweetened beverages, refined grains, potatoes and sweets had the opposite effect.”
We all know dark, leafy green vegetables are good for us. Every day, studies and articles tout the nutritional benefits of consuming foods like kale, spinach and broccoli, which are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium, and low in carbohydrates, sodium and cholesterol. In other words, we understand why they’re called superfoods.
Can you tell the difference between a functional food, a dietary supplement and a nutraceutical? Most people are aware that what they eat affects their vitality and lifespan, but have no idea where the line between food and drugs really lies. As we’ve discovered, the definition of nutraceuticals vs supplements and functional foods overlap quite a bit, but each retains its own niche in the modern food industry.