What is a whole foods plant-based diet (WFPB)?
A WFPB diet embraces whole foods, primarily from plants like:
- whole grains
- meat substitutes (soy products or few or no animal products like fish, poultry, meat, dairy and eggs).
So, the good news is, you don’t have to give up meat! A WFPB emphasizes minimally processed, artificial foods and avoids added fats and sugars (cereals, pastries, fast foods, sodas, ready-frozen meals, white breads and biscuits, candy bars, energy bars, refined flours etc. are a no-no).
What are the benefits of WFPB diets?
I could write a book to fully answer this question but, in a nutshell, it focuses foods from nature, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Food from nature is medicinal because the colorful pigments found in plant foods are highly nutritious and can help prevent illnesses such as cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes etc. It can also help increase happiness and wellbeing, maintain healthy weight, make your skin look younger naturally, and take care of gut health, thanks to all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in these plant foods.
How do I shift to a WFPB diet?
When going WFPB (especially if you are shifting towards a vegetarian or vegan diet) remember to include plant-based proteins in all your meals such as legumes, lentils, peas, nuts, seeds, tofu and all other beans. Protein is an essential nutrient that plays many vital roles in body functions like strengthening muscles and bones, improving focus and keeping your skin glowing.
Proteins aren’t needed in huge quantities. The body digests animal products differently to plant proteins and plant proteins rarely contain the full amount of essential amino acids so the recommended amount is 0.9 grams of protein per kg of body weight.
As a rule of thumb, every meal should include at least some of these foods:
- Nut butters
- Tofu and sprinkle hemp seeds
- Chia seeds