Most people are switching to different types of plant-based diets like veganism and vegetarianism due to the health benefits associated with them. This is because, most plant-based foods have lower calorie density and higher nutritional content, especially fiber which is lower in animal-based food. However, many vegetarians and vegans consume processed foods with a vegan or vegetarian label as part of their diet, which is not good for health. The purpose of this article is to explore in detail about whole foods plant-based diet; read on to know more about it.
What Is Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet?
Whole foods plant-based diet is a plant-based diet that focuses on eating unprocessed or minimally processed plant-based food.
Listed below are the core principles of whole foods plant-based diet:
- It focuses on eating minimally processed food.
- It gives importance to eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
- It pays special attention to include organically cultivated locally sourced fresh food. This ensures that the food consumed is of excellent quality.
- It avoids or limits the consumption of animal-based foods.
- It avoids the use of all types of refined food products like sugar, flour, and processed oils.
Due to these reasons, whole foods plant-based diet is considered equal to vegan or vegetarian diets. This is because of the similarities between the three types of diets.
Health Benefits Of Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet
The main advantage of a whole foods plant-based diet is that it helps with weight loss and weight management. Plant-based food has lower calorie density, and they are rich in dietary fiber. This is a winning combination that is recommended by health professionals for better overall health as it can prevent obesity. But you must drink adequate amounts of water to ensure proper gut function because of the higher fiber content of whole foods plant-based diet.
Another major health benefit of a whole food plant-based diet is its ability to reduce the risk of heart diseases. This is mainly due to the high amounts of dietary fiber in plant-based food that helps to bring down cholesterol to healthy levels. Apart from this, omega-3 fatty acid Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA) found in plant-based food also helps with this.
The fiber content and antioxidants in plant-based food help to avoid certain types of cancer, especially colon cancer. The fiber is useful for maintaining gut health, and the antioxidants protect against free radicals, which are one of the primary reasons for oncogenesis.
Before switching to a whole foods plant-based diet, you must consult with a dietician as they can guide you in coming up with a balanced diet.