It is easy to confuse a plant-based diet with a vegetarian diet, but there is a distinction. A plant-based diet depends on the use of plant foods in their whole form. Fruits and vegetables are found in the produce section or the local farmers market. Limited amounts of animal protein and animal products are allowed as is fat in restricted quantities. A vegan diet (total vegetarian) excludes all animal products. It requires some planning. However, it does not have to be healthy. New vegetarians often think they can fill the void with foods like pasta and find themselves gaining weight and not well nourished. For those that truly do the homework and eat likewise, they will consume a diet that promotes good health. Since foods from a plant-based diet are typically whole with little processing and no added sugar and salt, the quality should be the best. If weight-loss is an issue, either one of these should be helpful. With a plant-based diet and a vegetarian diet done right, the chance of heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity are definitely lower.
Resource: IDEA Fitness Journal March, 2015, "Seven Trends Coming To A Meal Near You" by Alexandra Williams, MA
Huffpost Healthy Living August 23,2015, "Top Five Reasons To Eat A Plant-based Diet" by Carol Bartolotto