With the advent of Covid-19, and historical pandemics, more and more focus is going to veganism, and whole foods based plant diet. Technically, whole foods based plant diet by itself can qualify as vegan — since it also excludes meat, dairy, seafood, poultry, etc. Basically, everything that defines vegan food.
So What Differentiates Whole Foods Plant Based Diet From a Vegan Diet?
The primary distinguishing factor is the “health” aspect. A vegan diet, while great for its reasons, can also be unhealthy. For instance, vegan potato chips with a bunch of salt, and other vegan ingredients that you can’t pronounce is unhealthy — say when compared to a broccoli.
And that’s precisely the point with whole foods based plant diet. They help you maintain your veganism, but also ensure that you’re eating healthy nutritious food all the time. It should be noted that it’s not an official diet so to speak — but rather a conscious lifestyle choice on what you eat. The two main governing characteristics that define a whole foods plant based diet are:
- The food is as minimally processed as possible. For example, refined sugar will likely not qualify as a whole foods plant based diet because of the fact that it’s refined (processed).
- Food is vegan, which we already covered.
What Are the Few Commonly Touted Benefits of a Whole Foods Plant Based Diet?
There have been tons of incredible studies done that really point out the benefits of adopting this diet. A few potential benefits include:
- It could lower the risk, or help you better manage your diabetes.
- It could lower the risk of cancers, and increases the ability to fight them even more.
- It can help manage obesity, and the associated risks that come with it.
- Whole Foods plant based diets have more digestible types of foods. In other words, it’s better for your stomach.
- It is said that adopting to this food lifestyle can increase your ability to heal faster & better.
- It is rich in all the vitamins, and all the minerals that you would need because it’s already nutritious by definition. And yes, there are tons of protein options. Despite that, if you’re still concerned about things like calcium, magnesium, etc. you can supplement this diet with vegan & natural tablets.
With those laid out, there are other secondhand benefits you get — that you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. Below are two more.
You Will Probably Not Go Over Your Calorie Requirements
Let me explain! Say, you eat a bucket of strawberry ice cream. And while as delicious as it might be, doing so will probably mean that you consumed a lot of calories. Let’s say for analogy purposes that doing so will have you consumed 2k calories.
Now, if you wanted to consume the same 2k calories through a whole foods based plant diet, you would literally need to eat a LOT! I really mean a lot! For example, if you wanted to consume the same calorie amount through carrots, you’d have to eat a gazillion of those — which is likely not possible in one sitting.
This approach is derived from the concept of calorie density. Calorie density is a measurement of how many calories you could get from a pound of food. Foods that are high in calorie density will have a lot of those, in just a small amount of food. In our example, the strawberry ice cream. Foods that are low in calorie density will have fewer calories in a larger portion of food, such as whole foods plant based diet.
You Will End Up Helping the Environment, Protect Animals From Exploitation, and Leave a Positive Impact on Future Generations
Due to whole foods plant based diet being vegan, you’re already helping against animal exploitation. To add to it, you’re also helping the environment and will leave a positive impact on the future generations. Plus, an extra benefit to it is that you’re also helping fight all these pandemics that are a result of our practice in livestock, dairy, poultry, etc.
Did you know that human beings are the only ones that consume other animals’ milk? It’s weird. And you also probably know this: A lot of people are lactose intolerant. There’s a reason for it. We’re not made to drink any other milk outside of our mothers’.
What Kinds of Food Are Part of a Whole Foods Plant Based Diet?
As sophisticated the name may sound, the foods that qualify here are readily available. Some of the prime examples are:
- Whole Grains (unrefined)
If you’re more of a visual learner as I am, this checklist from NutritionFacts.org should help!
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In Conclusion: Should You Adopt a Whole Foods Plant Based Diet?
I am not here to tell anyone what to do. But the benefits of such a diet are clearly better for you, better for the environment, better for protecting animals from exploitation. And you’d end leaving a positive touching impact on future generations.
One of the arguments I’ve heard of on some occasions as a case for eating meat is that plants are also living organisms. And while that is absolutely true, they don’t have a nervous system like us, or even the brains, to understand or feel any pain. Unfortunately, we have to eat to grow & survive, so yes, even though plants are considered living organisms, in my opinion, we’re not causing any pain.
But again, I am not here to tell anyone what they should or shouldn’t do. Simply laying out some facts.