There are a lot of arguments about which diet is best for us. Ranging from the vegan, down to the keto diets, the list is just endless.
However, the good news here is that dieticians have finally concluded that diets, which focuses more on whole fresh ingredients, reduce the intake of processed foods, while also limiting the amount of animal-based products, is superior for one’s overall health. And considering this, the only diet that matches this description is the whole foods plant-based diet.
Now, what is the whole foods plant-based diet? What are its benefits? And what foods should be avoided while sticking to this diet plan? These and many more we shall be answering, as we go further.
Meaning of whole foods plant-based diet
The whole foods plant-based diet isn’t a diet; it’s more of a lifestyle. This is mostly because plant-based diets can vary a lot depending on the extent to which a person includes animal products into their diet. Even though there are no set rules, nonetheless, the basic principles of whole foods plant-based diet are as follows;
- Focus mainly on the whole minimally processed foods
- Limit or avoid animal products.
- Focus on eating mostly plant-based foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts. They should make up the majority of what you eat in the diet.
- Pay close attention to food quality and locally sourced organic food whenever possible.
For these reasons, the diet is often confused with vegan or vegetarian diets. But of course, it’s not the case because, animal products are strictly forbidden in this diet, unlike some of the compromises often being made on the vegan diet.
Benefits of adopting the whole foods plant-based diet
Adopting whole foods plant-based diet can help you lose weight and improve your overall health.
A lot of studies have found that plant-based diets tend to be beneficial for weight loss and it’s not rocket science really because, animal products tend to be higher in calories, thus, if you swap them out for more plant-based foods, then, the total diet is going to be lowering calories, therefore causing you to lose weight.
From a review of 12 studies that included more than 1,100 people, it was discovered that those assigned to plant-based diets, lost significantly more weight about four and a half pounds or two kilos, over an average period of 18 weeks, than those assigned to non-vegetarian foods.
Need I remind you of the high number of nutrients found in fruits and vegetables? I probably didn’t think so.
Given that whole foods plant-based diet emphasizes on taking in things like fruits and vegetables when adopting this diet, your body will be continuously provided with an adequate number of nutrients, which will succinctly improve your overall health in the long run.
Foods to avoid or minimize on this diet
It’s not just animal foods that are limited in this diet; heavily processed food is also a big NO. Below is a rundown of some eye-saws to the whole foods plant-based diet.
- Fast food like french fries, burgers, hot dogs, nuggets, etc.
- Added sugars and sweets like table sugar, soda, juice(fruit juice), pastries, cookies, candy, and so on.
- Refined grains like white rice, white pasta, white bread, and bagels.
- Packaged and convenient foods like chips, crackers, cereal bars, and frozen dinners.
- Processed vegan-friendly foods like plant-based meat such as tofurkey and faux cheeses, vegan butter, and so on.
- Artificial sweeteners like Equal, Splenda, Sweet’N low and of course, drinks that are sweetened with these products.
- Animal products, most notably the processed animal products we know for sure like the bacon and sausages.
In a nutshell, whole foods plant-based diets can not only help you lose weight but link you to several health benefits. Plus, going plant-based does appear to be a slightly better option. What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comment section below. Cheers!