What Is a Whole Foods, Plant Based Diet?
A whole foods, plant based diet uses plant sourced whole foods and avoids animal products. The plant based diet isn’t necessarily a set diet, it’s more of a lifestyle. We consume whole, minimally processed foods, and limit or avoid most animal products. We focus on plants, such as: veggies, fruits, whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts, which makes up the majority of what we consume.
This diet excludes refined foods, such as added sugar, white bread, gmo’s and processed oils. We pay special attention to food grade, with advocates of this whole foods diet promoting locally sourced, organic food whenever possible.
It’s Not Vegan
People who follow strict vegan diets refrain from consuming any animal products, including dairy, poultry, meat, seafood, eggs and honey. Vegetarians exclude all poultry and meat from their diets, however a few vegetarians eat eggs, seafood or dairy. This plant based diet (also called WFPBD) on the other hand, it’s more flexible.
Followers eat mostly plants, but animal products are not completely off limits. While one person on the vegan diet might eat no animal product, one who follows a whole foods diet can eat modest quantities of poultry, eggs, seafood, meat or dairy. For example, pork production is one of the worst environmental pollutants of all of the factory farm industries. Once a year for Christmas, our family will purchase an organic ham, locally sourced and with great respect for that animal’s life. We are willing to pay much more for these occasional meats consumed, and found a few local farms right in the neighborhood!
For instance, we have 6 chickens, and feed them organic grains and food scraps, and they produce eggs for us every day! Our family eats well sourced, locally sourced or organic meats about once a week. It’s hard, we feel bad about it, especially when you raise animals, but the complex nutrients for growing children are recommended on occasion. Most nights, I use egg based dishes and well crafted, vegetarian meat substitutes.
This mainly plant based diet also can really help us lose weight and improve our overall health. Obesity is a problem of epidemic proportions. In fact, more than 69% of US adults are overweight or obese. Fortunately, with these simple food and lifestyle modifications we can facilitate weight reduction and have a lasting impact on health. Here are the 7 main reasons to consider:
1. A Plant Based Diet Can Be Richer in Nutrients
If you switch to a plant-based diet from a typical American diet, you’ll eliminate most animal and meat products.
We eat whole-foods, like whole grains, fruits, veggies, beans, peas, nuts and seeds.
2. It Can Help You Lose Excess Weight
An escalating number of people are turning to plant-based diets in the hope of losing excess fat.
This is perhaps for valid reason, several observational researches show that vegans have a tendency to be thinner and have lower body mass indexes (BMIs) compared to non-vegans.
3. It Appears to Lower Blood Sugar Levels and Improve Immune Function
Going plant-based may also have benefits for hypoglycemia, type 2 diabetes and declining kidney function.
4. A Plant Based Diet May Protect Against Certain Cancers
In accordance with the World Health Organization, about 1/3rd of all cancers can be prevented by factors within your control, including diet. For example, eating legumes on a regular basis might lessen your risk of colon cancer.
5. It’s Connected to a Lower Risk of Heart Disease
Eating fresh fruits, legumes, vegetables and fiber is linked to a lower chance of heart disease.
6. A Plant Based Diet Can Reduce Pain from Arthritis
Some research has reported that a plant-based diet has positive consequences in people with various kinds of arthritis.
7. Plant Based Diets Reduce Our Carbon Footprint
There is a substantial decrease in water consumption, food production and transport costs and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions with a plant-based diet. Of course, this also is much more humane for living animals, as the animal suffering, conditions and general atrocities in our factory farms is unconscionable. A WFPBD is good for you, good for mother earth! This is the easiest way you can “Go Green” and substantially decrease your carbon footprint, by up to 73%!
I offer a simple to get started, downloadable PDF, and ongoing free recipes, ones that I actually make, so please bookmark our site!
Written By Dawn Boiani, Wellness Coach. Owner of Buddhistmala.com
image: Daria Shevtsova pexels dariashevtsova.com