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Natural Awakenings Spokane WA/Coeur d'Alene ID

A Healthier Path to The Modern Plant-Based Diet

Mar 01, 2020 08:22AM
by Cheryl Fagras

Plant-based diets have been all the rageespecially in the last decade. For a variety of reasons, people have been ditching animal-based products for plant-powered foods. However, what many people may not realize is that their new diets aren’t necessarily healthier than their previous diet—especially if it consists of too many processed or genetically-modified foods.

Below are some guidelines to help ensure healthier food choices for those choosing to follow a plant-based diet:

Be sure that your plant-based diet consists mostly of plants. Many vegans have diets that rely heavily on processed foods, such as boxed vegan meals and sugary desserts. While they might not contain animal products, they still aren’t good for one’s health in heavy consumption. This includes soda pop, alcohol and coffee drinks heavily infused with natural or artificial flavors. These processed foods and beverages are a burden to the body, and over time, can hinder good health.

*  Try to eat fruits and vegetables that are organic. Ideally, it’s best to get produce from a locally known farmer. This can be done by either buying directly from the farm, at a farmer's market, or from the local co-op.  Buying local, or growing our own produce, reduces the amount of synthetic chemicals we consume in the nutrient deficient, commercially grown produce found in most grocery stores.

*  Don't be fooled by new foods being marketed as “plant-based.” Many of these products are created using biotechnology, gene editing, 3D printed DNA, (DNA that is not found in nature), genetically modified yeast and artificial intelligence. It is far from natural or healthy. Global food giants and chemical companies are aware of food trends and are capitalizing on them, but not necessarily with the public’s health on the forefront of their minds.

*  Be aware that non-GMO labels don’t cover foods made from plants that have been genetically altered using CRISPR technology. It has been approved for use in food labeled as organic by the USDA. As of now, there have been no safety studies done to determine how eating this unnatural, gene-edited food affects animals or humans, or how it will affect the ecosystem.

Keeping these tips in mind can help create the best, healthiest version of any plant-based diet.  

Cheryl Fagras is the owner of Infused Plant Based Wellness, a multifaced health and wellness store located at 413 W. Hastings Rd., in Spokane. In addition to offering fresh herbs, teas diffusers and other health products, Fagras offers regular natural health education classes. For more information, call 509-863-9027 or sign up online at

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