I have been eating a whole foods plant-based (WFPB) diet since 1992. That is almost 30 years!vI call it my health insurance, because eating mostly plants is one of the ways I know that I am preventing the likelihood of getting the most common lifestyle diseases (diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, etc). Full disclosure: For the last few years, I do enjoy a little cheese now and then.
You’ve probably heard about the WFPB diet. Maybe you’re not convinced that it’s for you. All you know is that it sounds extreme and boring. Still, you might consider it if there were sufficient benefits.
Could you be one of those “vegan people”? Maybe you could! It might be the best decision you could make for your health and longevity.
First, let’s define what a WFPB diet actually is. Essentially, it’s a diet that is free of animal products. So, that means no meat of any kind, including fish and seafood, no dairy products, and no eggs. Many vegans choose to exclude honey, too.
What does that leave? Every other food, including fruits, soy, vegetables, beans, grains, and nuts. There are also many processed foods as well that are WFPB, such as bread and pasta.
Keep in mind that a WFPB food isn’t necessarily a healthy food. French fries, potato chips, and some cookies are WFPB, but they certainly aren’t healthy. You can eat a very unhealthy diet and still be 100% WFPB !
A WFPB diet with nutritious foods can provide many health benefits:
A WFPB diet may reduce arthritis pain. Multiple studies have demonstrated that following a WFPB diet can reduce the pain of rheumatoid arthritis. Study participants reported less joint swelling and less morning stiffness, too.
Metabolism benefits. WFPB diets can be extremely healthy. A good WFPB diet is full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals. Just as important, a proper WFPB diet is also low in calories, cholesterol, and saturated fat. This type of diet is high in nutrition, but low in calories and disease-causing components. There is also evidence to suggest that an improvement in gut biome in those following a WFPB diet also leads to metabolic advantages.
Lower risk of heart disease. The primary contributors to heart disease include high blood sugar, blood pressure, LDL and total cholesterol. A healthy WFPB diet has been shown to lower all of these risk factors.
Cognitive benefits. Those that follow a WFPB diet have shown a decreased risk of developing cognitive issues. When a cognitive issue is present, WFPB diet followers show a slower rate of decline.
Lower risk of certain types of cancer. Adhering to a WFPB diet lowers the risk of prostate, colon, and breast cancer.
Enhance kidney function. High blood sugar is ultimately very damaging to kidney function. It forces the kidneys to work extra hard. High blood sugar is also damaging to the blood vessels in the kidneys. Those following a WFPB diet often experience great improvements in kidney function.
Weight loss. A healthy WFPB diet is low in calories. However, not all WFPB diets are healthy. You can eat nothing but potato chips and Fruit Loops and be a vegan . However, a healthy WFPB diet has a low-calorie density. It would be a real challenge to eat enough to maintain a high body weight.
A WFPB diet can be extremely healthy if good food choices are made. If you’re looking to boost your health, lose weight, and preserve your cognitive function, a WFPB diet might be the best option.
The difference between a WFPB diet and a vegan diet is that WFPB is comprised of whole plants food that are processed as little as possible. While a vegan diet is focused on not eating any animal products, even if the foods are processed or artificial.
If you like to watch motivating documentaries, check out Forks Over Knives and The Game Changers on NetFlix.
Remember, you are wonderful just as you are!