Whole Food Diet For Beginners

The History Of The Term Plant Based And The Addition Of ‘whole Foods’

How to Start a Whole Food Plant Based Diet | A Beginner’s Guide to Overall Health & Weight Loss

Dr. Colin Campbell conducted the world’s largest epidemiological study called The China Study. When he compared the diets and health status of rural Chinese to Americans, he found that that the top killers in the US – coronary heart disease and cancers – were practically absent in China! His research showed that this was primarily due to their diet and lifestyle. Consumption of Animal foods, which is big part of the standard American diet, seemed to be the top dietary cause of these diseases. So he named the healthy diet the Chinese followed, the ‘Plant Based Diet’ in 1982 .

He realised that this definition alone is not enough. By definition, chips and soda are still plant based. So, he added another dimension to the definition and called it the ‘Whole-Foods, Plant-Based Diet’.

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Why Adopt A Wfvd

There are tons of health benefits to committing to a WFVD. You can consume more fiber and improve gut health due to integrating more fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains into your diet. A WFVD will help you manage your weight too, so those adopting this diet tend to be leaner than those who arent.Its also great for disease prevention, as science has proven how whole foods can help prevent, halt, or even reverse chronic diseases including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. In fact, a study published in the journal Nature Food evaluated more than 5,800 foods, ranking them by their nutritional disease burden to humans, as well as their environmental footprint. Results showed that just by substituting 10% of your daily caloric intake from beef and processed meats with a mix of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes, you can gain up to 48 minutes of healthy life per day. Adversely, eating something like a processed hot dog can cost you 36 minutes of your life.Choosing plant-based foods also helps reduce your impact on the environment, and allows you to give back to your local farmers and community. As we pointed out in our feature on Vegan Statistics, 83% of farmland is used for raising animals to provide meat and dairy. However, dairy and meat only account for 37% of protein consumption and 18% of calories. Thats why maintaining this kind of diet will positively impact our planet.

Reasons To Eat Whole Foods

Here are six reasons we should eat more whole foods, according to nutrition experts:

  • Phytochemicals. In the past 10 years, scientists have identified hundreds of biologically active plant-food components called phytochemicals . They include the powerful antioxidant lycopene, a red-colored carotenoid found mainly in tomatoes anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant that gives deep blue color to berries and pterostilbene, which appears to turn on a “switch” in cells that breaks down fat and cholesterol, and is found in blueberries and the Gamay and Pinot Noir varieties of grapes.

    The only way to make sure you’re getting the phytochemicals we know about, as well as the ones we haven’t yet discovered or named, is to eat plant foods in their whole, unprocessed form .

  • Good fats. When you eat a diet made up mostly of whole foods, it’s easier to decrease the bad-for-you fats often added to processed foods and fast food. At the same time, it’s easier to emphasize the “good” fats .

  • Fewer ‘extras.’ Whole foods are as nature made them, without added fat, sugar, or sodium. Eating more whole foods will help you cut down on calories from the added fats and sugars we get from processed and fast foods.

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    How Do You Get Protein On A Plant

    Worried you wont get enough protein when youre eating plant-based foods? This is a common concern but the truth is, you dont need to stress over this. Plant-based eaters get plenty of protein .

    Actually, plant-based eaters enjoy a more complete nutrient profile overall than those who consume a standard American diet. And its pretty difficult to become protein deficient. Its much more common for Americans eating the Standard American Diet to be lacking in fiber than vegans lacking in protein. For more on the protein question, check out our blog post outlining HOW and WHY youll meet all your protein needs with plants here.

    Alzheimers & Neurodegenerative Disease

    Buy Plant Based for Beginners!: A Guide to a Whole

    Believe it or not, even Alzheimers and neurodegenerative disease patients can benefit from a plant-based diet. While there are few documented cases of reversal, most are preventable. In fact, a comprehensive report conducted by husband and wife team, Drs. Dean and Ayesha Sherzai concluded that over 90% of Alzheimers cases are preventable.

    Much of this prevention is achievable with lifestyle strategies, and whole foods plant-based nutrition is one of the most consequential strategies of all. Additional research has shown that this may be due in part to the brain-gut connection. A poor diet disrupts the gut microbiota, contributing to inflammation in the body and affecting the central nervous system and, ultimately, the brain. One study found that inflammation, gut dysbiosis, and leaky gut may contribute to the process of neurodegeneration in Alzheimers patients.

    For more on how diet affects Alzheimers and brain health, check out this article by Dr. Michael Greger here.

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    Mother Earth Benefits Too

    Scientists say humans have ruined Earth.

    We have caused climate change. We have killed many animals. And we have interfered with nitrogen and phosphorus levels in the air.

    These disruptions are making Earth unstable and less conducive for human survival. Disastrous consequences await unless we change our ways.

    Scientists say eating a WFPB diet is one way to rebuild Earth.

    But how?

    Well, compared with animal protein, plant protein requires less land, water and energy to produce. Plant proteins also emit fewer greenhouse gases during production. Furthermore, life cycle assessment studies show that 1 kg of protein from beef generates 45-640 kg of carbon dioxide equivalents. In contrast, tofu generates just 10 kg of carbon dioxide per kilogram.

    Greenhouse gas emissions are not the only problem. Another environmental concern exists that has received less publicity phosphorus.

    Phosphorus is essential in fertilizers for food production. Unfortunately, phosphorus reserves are depleting rapidly, and could completely deplete within 50-100 years if we keep using it at current rates. Fortunately, plant-based diets require considerably less phosphorus to produce than meat-based diets.

    Even if you cant eliminate meat from your diet, reducing your consumption will benefit Earth.

    Now you know some of the health and environmental benefits of WFPB vegan diets, I bet youre raring to stock your kitchen with healthy plant-based foods. So, what should your shopping basket contain?

    And Heres Another Resource

    Want some hands-on support implementing a plant-based lifestyle in your life? Check out the Food For Health MasterClass with Food Revolution Network founders John Robbins and Ocean Robbins. Youll discover the top four food lies that the food industry hopes you never discover, and 10 mighty plant-powered breakthroughs that can truly change your life. And best of all, its free! Join in right here.

    We wish you all the best on your journey to a fabulous plant-based lifestyle. Heres to your health!

    Tell us in the comments:

    • What do you think of plant-based diets?
    • Have you ever tried one?

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    It Might Take Time Before The Food To Taste Scrumptious To You

    If youre used to eating lots of processed foods and restaurant-prepared foods, it might take a little while before your palate adjusts and you really enjoy the taste of whole plant foods. This is because processed food and restaurant food is loaded with salt, sugar, and fat, and any foods that arent as stimulating as those foods will taste bland and boring.

    The more plant based food you eat, the better the food will taste, until one day youll be walking along, and BOOM! You get hit with a salad craving. It totally happens!

    Read The Nutrition Labels

    Vegan Beginner Tips – How To Start A Whole Food Plant Based Diet

    When eating clean for beginners, you need to get pretty familiar with nutrition labels because they will tell you everything you need to know about the foods youre considering eating. Look for labels with relatively few ingredients and consider each ingredient in terms of, Is this an ingredient I would cook with in my kitchen? If not, pass. Pay attention to and avoid foods with labels that include words like, hydrolyzed, or modified, as those indicate added processing and words that end in -ose because those indicate added sugars . Look for labels with whole grains and whole wheat in the ingredients. If the food is high in calories, make sure the saturated fat and sugar levels are low and that the calories are coming from the fiber and lean proteins instead. Also, keep sodium levels as low as possible your body only needs 250 mg each day to function but a typical American diet is waaaaaay higher than that.

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    What Do We Mean By Whole Food Plant Based

    The term plant based diet refers to a diet which does not include animal products, animal ingredients or food derived from animals. This is also sometimes known as a Vegan Diet. Whole Food adds another dimension to this. A whole-food, plant-based diet is one largely comprised of unprocessed plant foods. This means a diet comprised of a variety of fruits, berries, vegetables, greens, pulses, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, herbs, spices, and mushrooms. All this in their whole form – with the fiber intact- without removing components. Processed foods include oil, sugar/jaggery, white rice, maida, rava, semiya, among others.

    Are You Ready To Get Started

    Giving up animal products is no mean feat! But feeling lethargic, bloated and unhappy about your appearance is much worse.

    Now you have a simple but powerful dietary solution in your hands. A whole food plant-based diet will energise you, nourish you and melt stubborn fat making you feel awesome inside out!

    This post has given you all the information you need to include more whole, plant-based foods into your diet successfully.

    Put it to use and watch your health transform.


  • Turner-McGrievy, G.M., et al. Comparative effectiveness of plant-based diets for weight loss: A randomised controlled trial of five different diets. Nutrition 31, 350-358.
  • Ferdowsian, H.R., et al. A multicomponent intervention reduces body weight and cardiovascular risk at a GEICO corporate site. American Journal of Health Promotion 24, 384-7.
  • Wright, N. The BROAD study: A randomised controlled trial using a whole food plant-based diet in the community for obesity, ischaemic heart disease or diabetes. Nutrition and Diabetes 7, e256.
  • Barnard, N.D., et al. A low-fat vegan diet and a conventional diabetes diet in the treatment of type 2 diabetes: a randomised controlled, 74-wk clinical trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 89, 1588S-1596S.
  • Najjar, R.S. and Feresin, R.G. Plant-Based diets in the reduction of body fat: Physiological effects and biochemical insights. Nutrients 11, 2712.
  • Rockstr√∂m, J., et al A safe operating space for humanity. Nature, 461, 472-475.
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    Finding Your Balanced Diet

    Overall, the key to eating a whole foods vegan diet is to plan everything out beforehand, from looking up recipes to shopping for ingredients. Considering the options available to you will prevent you from making rash, unhealthy choices later on. There are lots of resources available to prepare easy vegan recipes that you can find online. Its also worth keeping in mind that its normal to struggle a bit and that its absolutely okay to take your time to gradually shift to a whole foods diet. At the end of the day, the noticeable and measurable improvements in your health will make it absolutely worth it.

    What Is Clean Eating

    Whole Food Plant

    The major key to understand about eating clean for beginners is that its more of a lifestyle than a diet. By that, I mean eating clean isnt a get skinny quick kinda thing. Instead, its a way to approach how you eat and what you put in your body. Clean eating involves choosing whole foods, avoiding processed foods, and creating a healthy, conscientious approach to what foods you eat. Making the choice to eat clean is to remove unnecessary fats, sugars, and carbs from your diet. Its about making better, more nutritious choices for your body. Its also about refusing to continue to put junk in your body. Junk, in this context, includes processed foods, artificial flavors and sugars, foods with lots of salt and high in saturated fat, refined foods, and other foods that dont provide you with nutritional value.

    This means embracing vegetables, whole foods, unrefined grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. The focus is on the quality of the food being consumed and the benefits these foods offer your overall health. The idea is to combine the clean eating lifestyle with an active life.

    One meal at a time, youll find clean eating will make you a healthier, happier person. Youll find that you crave sweets less and that foods high in saturated fat really arent that satisfying any more.

    Here are 8 Great Guidelines for Getting started Eating Clean. However if you want even more clean eating help check out the Eating Clean for Beginners Guide.

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    It May Prevent Cancer

    There are two studies which suggest that a plant-based diet may help fend off the most dreaded condition of the modern era cancer.

    The first Vegetarian dietary patterns and the risk of colorectal cancers which was published in 2015 by Orlich et al, notes that colorectal cancers are a major problem in the population as a whole and that when comparing a vegetarian diet to a non-vegetarian one, there was a reduced incidence in cancer among vegetarians.

    It is important to note, however, that they took data from 69,000 people and this allowed them to examine different types of vegetarianism and they found that ovo-lacto vegetarians that is vegetarians that occasionally eat milk or eggs were at the least risk of cancer.

    In the rather more boldly titled, VEGETARIAN DIETS AND THE INCIDENCE OF CANCER IN A LOW-RISK POPULATION by Tatamango-Bartley et al. they note that nearly 30% of all cancers in a Western diet are caused by the contents of peoples diets.

    They examined a ton of different diets and concluded that the people with the lowest overall risk of cancer were those following a pescatarian diet. That is their diets were mainly vegetarian, but they also eat fish.

    Not Ready To Go In 100%

    Some people are not ready to go cold turkey right off the bat. In that case, a useful recommendation is to add in as many vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes as you can. This will help keep you full and crowd out the less healthful foods.

    For more tips with getting started, take a look at this article, How to Start a Plant-Based Diet: Fast Way vs Slow Way

    Focus on the big changes like switching from meat, milk, and eggs to whole-plant foods. Such changes dramatically improve the nutritional composition of the foods you are eating, so this is where you will find the most noticeable and measurable improvements in your health. Dr. Brian Wendelfounder of Forks Over Knives

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    Can Athletes Follow A Whole

    Though the research is still relatively limited in the domain ofathletes and plant-based diets, vegetarian diets have not been shown to impede athletic performance . Plant-based proteins are more than able to meet the requirements of an athlete, and they have been shown to provide just as much muscle growth as animal-based proteins as long as they are consumed in adequate amounts and from varied sources.

    The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine all agree that plant-based athletes may need the advice and education of a registered health professional, such a dietitian or sports nutritionist.

    Frequent snacks and the consumption of high-energy foods including plant oils, nut butter, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, avocados, and smoothies are recommended for plant-based athletes who may be struggling to meet their energy requirements.

    Best Hacks For Sticking With A Whole Food Diet

    How to Start a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet for Beginners | THE FIRST STEPS

    Here are some tips to help you stick with a whole food diet and develop this lifestyle.

    1. Practice Batch Cooking

    Especially in the beginning, if youve been used to eating more convenience-based or packaged foods, youre likely to feel like you spend the majority of your life in the kitchen. So, Id suggest getting your cookbooks out and planning around five things to make per week. If you make double, or even triple portions depending on your household, youll have enough quantity to last several meals.

    For example, his could be homemade granola. Make it once, and thats breakfast sorted for a week. Whole food diet ingredients like oats, quinoa, buckwheat, nuts, and seeds are all delicious, and great nutritional resources to keep you feeling full until lunchtime.

    I also love to make big stews, sauces, and curries that can happily be reheated and added throughout the course of a few days.

    2. Make Your Own Convenience Foods

    Sticking to a new way of eating can be really difficult, especially for your willpower. So, its very important to make it as easy as possible for yourself.

    Pre-chop. Pre-chop. Pre-chop.

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    Reduces The Risk Of Heart Disease

    In their 2017 study, Healthful and Unhealthful Plant-Based Diets and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in U.S. Adults, of more than 200,000 American adults Satija et al discovered that there was a real correlation between eating a whole foods and plant based diet and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

    In short, that means that a plant-based diet is good for your heart. The same study also found that a diet that is heavy in sugar and chemically refined products can increase your risks of a heart attack.

    So, it is important to ensure that you focus on eating the right foods on your plant-based diet, you cant just chow down on unhealthy products and expect to reap benefits.

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