Super Simple Plant Based Diet Shopping List

Super Simple Plant Based Diet Shopping List
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

In our Western industrialized society, overly processed foods have become the norm.

Because of that, many people are looking for ways to make their diets healthier.

One of the best ways to get back to basics with your eating habits is introducing a plant-based diet.

Why?

Because a whole food plant-based (WFPB) diet does not only focus on eliminating animal products, but on emphasizing unprocessed and low processed plant based foods.

According to the WHO, a WFPB diet is highly recommended as part of a healthy lifestyle.

If you are willing to give it a go, but unsure where to start for your next trip to the grocery store, we have you covered with a plant based diet grocery list.

Key takeaways from this article:

  • A plant based diet is one of the healthiest diet options you can go for (recommended by doctors!)
  • No, you don't have to completely give up animal products to be on a plant based diet.
  • You can drink a small to moderate amount of alcohol on a plant based diet.
  • List of foods to focus on.
  • List of foods to avoid on a plant based diet.
  • If not balanced correctly, you may end up deficient in iron, vitamin B12 and/or calcium when eating mostly plant based foods.

Plant based shopping list printable

Here's the entire list of plant based foods to print out and use whenever you like.

(Or you can just download a free app and take your list with you on your phone wherever you go.)

Plant based diet shopping list printable

What is a plant-based diet?

A plant-based diet is, as the name suggests, a diet that incorporates plants as the foundation of every meal. That includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, and herbs.

When following a plant based diet, it is recommended to exclude or at least minimize animal products such as meat, eggs, and dairy.

A plant-based diet is a more holistic approach to healthy eating because conventional dieting can be too restrictive, leading people to quit their diets too soon. That is why a plant-based diet can be a way to make more consistent and long-term healthy food choices.

Not only is it good for your health, it is also good for the planet!

Studies have shown that if Western diets changed into more plant-based versions, water use would be reduced by 50%, and greenhouse gas emissions and land use would be reduced by 70%.

Do doctors recommend a plant-based diet?

Yes!

A plant-based diet is highly recommended and scientifically proven to reduce the risk of a number of diseases.

These diseases include:

  • Cardiovascular diseases. A plant based diet can reduce your risk of heart disease, high cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure.
  • Some types of cancer. Following a plant-based diet can reduce your risk of certain types of cancer.
  • Diabetes. Eliminating sugar and refined carbohydrates greatly contributes to reducing insulin resistance.
  • Obesity. A plant-based diet is also good for weight management. It will help you lose weight in a healthy consistent way, improving your health long term and preventing further diseases.
  • Alzheimer's disease and cognitive health.

If you'd like some more inspiration on science-backed healthy foods, check out our healthy pantry staples!

Do I need to be a vegan or vegetarian to follow a plant-based diet?

Technically, no.

However, since a plant-based diet focuses on fresh food that comes from natural plant sources, most animal products are not allowed or should be reduced to create a balanced meal plan.

Since not all plant-based eaters are vegan or vegetarian, it is important to at least limit the amount of animal product foods consumed, such as:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Dairy

That said, you can still follow a plant-based diet while on a vegetarian, vegan, pescetarian, flexitarian, or a Mediterranean diet. They are all considered good plant based diet options.

If you are on a vegan diet and are looking to make your life easier, we've got a vegan grocery shopping list already prepared!

What should I eat on a plant-based diet?

It's simple! More plants!

Here are some ideas:

Vegetables

Veggies should be your main source of food on this diet. That means finding creative ways to mix them up and prepare plant based meal plans.

You could add fresh produce to any meal of the day, or - even better - make them the basis of every meal.

  • Broccoli
  • Avocados
  • Pepper
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber

Starchy vegetables

Fresh fruit should be your top choice for dessert on a plant-based diet!

Fruit is especially good for your health when packed with vitamin C and antioxidants. (And yes, frozen fruit counts.)

  • Berries
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, limes
  • Mangoes
  • Kiwi
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Pineapple
  • Dried fruit
An assortment of fruit including kiwis, grapes, citrus fruit, a pineapple, etc.
Photo by Julia Zolotova on Unsplash

Plant based protein

Since you should at least be limiting the amount of animal foods you consume, it is important to look for some meat alternatives:

  • Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and cashews
  • Beans and lentil protein such as black and kidney beans, soy, peas (canned beans are also okay)
  • Seeds such as flaxseeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Vegan cheese

Healthy fats

Healthy fat foods are also very important for creating balanced meals and keeping you full throughout the day.

Here are some ideas:

  • Nut butter options such as peanut butter, almond butter, tahini
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil

Whole grains

If you are used to eating a lot of carbs, whole grains are your best option to substitute refined carbs for something filling you can include in your plant based grocery list.

  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Oats
  • Whole grain baked goods

Beverages

When it comes to drinks it's also best to stick to the basics.

Watch out for added sugar in vegan milks though!

  • Water
  • Tea
  • Coffee without sugar
  • Dairy alternatives such as almond milk, soy milk, and other dairy free options
PRO TIP: Add the items you want to a free shopping list app on your phone so you don't forget to buy them on your next shopping trip!

What is not allowed on a plant-based diet?

The most important rule to follow on a plant-based diet is to eat everything that looks like it grows from the earth, instead of foods that originated in a factory.

So if it looks like a product and has many additives and sugars on the label, it's best to avoid it.

Sweets and sweetened beverages

Most drinks that can be bought at the grocery store are unfortunately overly processed and contain a high dose of added sugar.

  • Soft drinks
  • Fruit juices with added sugar
  • Alcohol that is high in sugar

Processed food

No processed foods are allowed on a diet based on plant foods. That includes:

  • Chips
  • Cookies
  • Cereals
  • Crackers

Processed meats

Even though some meat is tolerated on a plant based diet if you are flexitarian, processed meats are a strict no.

  • Bacon
  • Sausage

Refined grains

Refined grains can be difficult to cut out because, for a lot of people, they make up most of their diet. However, they must go.

  • White wheat flour
  • Pasta
  • White bread
  • White rice

Fast food

This should be obvious, but make sure you are cutting out as much fast food items from your diet as you can.

You can swap these with homemade plant based recipes:

  • Hamburgers
  • Pizza
  • Sandwiches
  • Tacos
  • Fried foods such as french fries
  • Hot dogs
  • Chicken nuggets

How do you start following a plant based diet?

Whether your current eating habits are already quite healthy, or you are used to sugar and fast food, starting a new eating plan can be stressful.

The primary benefit of plant based eating is that it is far less restrictive and more adaptable compared to other diets.

Some of the ways you start introducing plant based food into your daily routine are:

  • Start slow. All healthy improvements to your diet will be welcomed by your body. Don't beat yourself up if you sometimes choose a less healthy food option. Embrace the process instead. Remember, you're in it for the long run.
  • Add veggies to every meal. As simple as that, try to mix up your usual meals by adding vegetables while still keeping them tasty.
  • Build a meal around a salad. If you are not sure how to start, a good option is to start making a salad and incorporating your favorite plant based foods and spices.
  • Create your own plant based version of a meal you love. For example, if you are a burger person, try making one with whole grain bread, grilled veggies, and vegan cheese.

Can you drink alcohol on a plant-based diet?

Technically, you can.

Although, alcohol is not the healthiest beverage option if you are looking to improve your health.

If you must, go for plant based alcohol options such as vegan wine.

What bread can I eat on a plant-based diet?

Avoid all white and refined grains. Yes, that includes regular white bread and pastries.

Instead, go for whole grain bread that is full of seeds.

You can even bake your own bread at home, to make sure all the ingredients are spot-on.

What are the negatives of a plant-based diet?

Since on a plant based diet you would eliminate or minimize animal products, you could end up deficient in iron, vitamin B12 and/or calcium.

Therefore, it would be wise to introduce B vitamins, especially vitamin B12 supplements to your diet, as it is one of the main concerns of any meat-free diet. Soy and nutritional yeast are also great options for B12.

You can also improve your body's absorption abilities by adding more vitamin A, C, and D to your diet.

Conclusion

A plant based diet is scientifically proven to be one of the best things that you can do to prevent diseases, manage your weight, and improve your overall energy.

Whether you eat meat or not, or have other food preferences, you can adapt our recommended plant based shopping list and incorporate the principles of a plant based diet into your own eating habits.

Whatever you choose to do, you will quickly feel the major health benefits of a plant based diet.

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