There are many arguments about which diet is best for you. Nevertheless, health and wellness Communities agree that diets emphasizing fresh, whole ingredients and minimizing processed foods are superior for overall wellness.
The whole-foods, plant-based diet does just that. It focuses on minimally processed foods, specifically plants, and is effective at stimulating weight loss and improving health.
This article reviews everything you need to know about the whole-foods, plant-based diet, including its potential health benefits, foods to eat and a sample meal plan.
There is no clear definition of a what constitutes a whole-foods, plant-based diet (WFPB diet). The WFPB diet is not necessarily a set diet — it’s more of a lifestyle.
This is because plant-based diets can vary greatly depending on the extent to which a person includes animal products in their diet.
Nonetheless, the basic principles of a whole-foods, plant-based diet are as follows:
-Emphasizes whole, minimally processed foods.
-Limits or avoids animal products.
-Focuses on plants, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts, which should make up the majority of what you eat.
-Excludes refined foods, like added sugars, white flour and processed oils.
-Pays special attention to food quality, with many proponents of the WFPB diet promoting locally sourced, organic food whenever possible.
-For these reasons, this diet is often confused with vegan or vegetarian diets. Yet although similar in some ways, these diets are not the same.
-People who follow vegan diets abstain from consuming any animal products, including dairy, meat, poultry, seafood, eggs and honey. Vegetarians exclude all meat and poultry from their diets, but some vegetarians eat eggs, seafood or dairy.
-The WFPB diet, on the other hand, is more flexible. Followers eat mostly plants, but animal products aren’t off limits.
While one person following a WFPB diet may eat no animal products, another may eat small amounts of eggs, poultry, seafood, meat or dairy.
-It Can Help You Lose Weight and Improve Your Health. Obesity is an issue of epidemic proportions. In fact, over 69% of US adults are overweight or obese.
-Fortunately, making dietary and lifestyle changes can facilitate weight loss
and have a lasting impact on health.
-Many studies have shown that plant-based diets are beneficial for weight loss. The high fiber content of the WFPB diet, along with the exclusion of processed foods, is a winning
combination for shedding excess pounds.
-A review of 12 studies that included more than 1,100 people found that those assigned to plant-based diets lost significantly more weight about 4.5 pounds (2kg) over an average of 18 weeks than those assigned to non-vegetarian diets.
-Adopting a healthy plant-based eating pattern may also help keep weight off in the long run. A study in 65 overweight and obese adults found that those assigned to a WFPB diet lost significantly more weight than the control group and were able to sustain that weight loss of 9.25 pounds (4.2kg)
over a one-year follow-up period.
-Plus, simply cutting out the processed foods that aren’t allowed on a WFPB diet like soda, candy, fast food and refined grains is a powerful weight loss tool itself.