Diet & Nutrition

Whole Foods Plant Based Diet: Benefits, Food List and Tips

Whole foods plant based diet

Introduction

Whole foods plant based diet is way of eating that focuses on consuming foods that are minimally processed and close to their natural state. This includes fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices. Whole food plant based diet excludes animal products, refined sugars, oils and artificial additives. Plant based whole food diet has many benefits for health, such lowering the risk of chronic diseases, improving digestion, enhancing energy and promoting weight loss. Whole food plant based diets are also environmentally friendly, as they reduce the demand for animal agriculture and its associated impacts on land, water and climate.

What is a whole foods plant based diet?

Whole foods plant-based diet focuses on consuming foods derived from plants, like fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. A whole foods plant based diet also avoids or minimizes processed foods, animal products, added sugars, oils and salt.

Whole foods plant based diet

Is a whole foods plant based diet healthy?

Whole foods plant based diet has been shown to have many health benefits, like lowering the risk of chronic diseases, like heart disease, diabetes, obesity and some cancers. Whole foods plant based diet can also provide adequate nutrition, as long as it is well planned and balanced. Whole foods plant based diet can be environmentally friendly, as it reduces consumption of animal products with high environmental impact.

What can I eat that’s whole foods plant based?

There are many delicious and nutritious foods that you can eat on a whole foods plant based diet. Some examples are:

Fruits: apples, bananas, berries, citrus fruits, grapes, melons, pears, etc.

Vegetables: broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, kale, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, peppers, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, etc.

Grains: barley, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, oats, quinoa, rye, wheat, etc.

Legumes: beans, chickpeas, lentils, peas, soybeans, tofu, tempeh, etc.

Nuts and seeds: almonds, cashews, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, peanuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, etc.

Herbs and spices: basil, cilantro, cinnamon, cumin, garlic, ginger, mint oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme, turmeric etc.

What’s not allowed on a whole foods plant based diet?

Whole foods plant based diet avoids or minimizes the following foods:

Animal products: meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, honey etc.

Processed foods: refined grains, white bread, white pasta, white rice, sugary cereals, pastries, cakes, cookies, chips, crackers, candy, soda etc.

Added sugars: table sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, agave nectar, maple syrup, honey etc.

Oils: olive oil, coconut oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, butter, margarine etc.

Salt: table salt, sea salt, kosher salt, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, ketchup, mustard etc.

Benefits of a Whole Food Plant Based Diet

Whole foods plant based diet

Whole food plant based diet can offer many benefits for your health and well being. Some of the benefits are:

  • Lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels
  • Improved blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity
  • Reduced inflammation and oxidative stress
  • Enhanced immune system function and gut health
  • Increased energy and vitality
  • Weight loss and maintenance
  • Prevention and reversal of some chronic diseases
  • Improved mood and mental clarity
  • Better skin and hair quality
  • Reduced environmental impact and animal suffering

Whole Food Plant Based Diet Food List

To help you get started on a whole food plant based diet, This is sample food list that you can use as a guide. You can mix and match these foods to create your meals and snacks.

Breakfast

  • Oatmeal with fresh or dried fruits and nuts or seeds
  • Whole wheat toast with peanut butter and banana pieces
  • Smoothie with frozen berries, banana, spinach and almond milk 
  • Scrambled tofu with onion, peppers and mushrooms
  • Whole grain pancakes with blueberries and maple syrup

Lunch

  • Salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, avocado and chickpeas
  • Dressed with lemon juice and tahini
  • Vegetable soup with lentils, barley and kale
  • Hummus wrap with whole wheat tortilla, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and olives
  • Bean burrito with black beans, brown rice, salsa and guacamole
  • Veggie burger with whole wheat bun, lettuce, tomato, onion and mustard

Dinner

  • Stir fry with tofu, broccoli, carrots, snow peas and brown rice
  • seasoned with soy sauce and ginger
  • Pasta with marinara sauce, mushrooms, zucchini and spinach
  • Chili with kidney beans, corn, tomato sauce and spices
  • served with cornbread
  • Curry with chickpeas, potatoes, cauliflower and coconut milk
  • served with basmati rice
  • Roasted vegetables with quinoa and tahini sauce

Snacks

  • Apple with almond butter
  • Carrot sticks with hummus
  • Trail mix with nuts, seeds and dried fruits
  • Popcorn with nutritional yeast and garlic powder
  • Date balls with oats, cocoa powder and coconut flakes

Try Air Frying to Avoid Oil on a Whole Food Plant Based Diet

One of the challenges of following whole food plant based diet is avoiding oil, which is high in calories and fat and can contribute to weight gain and health problems. However, oil is often used for cooking, especially frying, which can make food crispy and tasty. How can you enjoy fried foods without oil on whole food plant based diet?

One possible solution is to use an air fryer, a device that circulates hot air around food, creating crispy texture without needing oil. Using only plant-based ingredients, you can use an air fryer to make fries, nuggets, chips, and other fried foods. You can also season your foods with herbs and spices to add flavor and variety.

Tips using air fryer on whole food plant based diet

  • Cut your foods into uniform pieces to ensure that even cooking
  • Shake or flip your foods halfway through the cooking time to prevent sticking and burning
  • Use parchment paper or a silicone mat to line basket of the air fryer to prevent sticking and make cleaning easier
  • Experiment with different temperatures and times to find optimal settings for your foods
  • Follow recipes from reliable sources or websites that specialize in air frying

Use These Easy Oil Alternatives on Whole Food Plant Based Diet

Another way to avoid oil on whole food plant based diet is to use oil alternatives for cooking and baking. You can use many options depending on the type of food and desired result. These are some examples of oil alternatives that you can use on whole food plant based diet:

For sautéing or stir frying: use water, vegetable broth, soy sauce, vinegar or wine instead of oil. You can also use non stick pan or a ceramic pan to prevent sticking. Add more liquid as needed to prevent burning or drying out.

For baking: use applesauce, mashed banana, pumpkin puree or silken tofu instead of oil. These ingredients can add moisture, sweetness to your baked goods, and some dietary fiber and nutrients. You can also use nut butter or seed butter for some recipes that require oil.

For dressing: use tahini, avocado, hummus, nut butter or seed butter instead of oil. These ingredients can add creaminess and richness to your salads, bowls or sandwiches. You can also use lemon juice, vinegar, mustard or salsa for some recipes that require oil.

For roasting: use vegetable broth, soy sauce, vinegar or wine instead of oil. You can also use herbs and spices to add flavor and aroma to your roasted vegetables.

Eating Whole Foods Plant Based at Restaurants

Eating out at restaurants can be challenging when you follow a whole food plant based diet, as many dishes contain animal products, processed foods, added sugars, oils and salt. However, finding or requesting dishes suitable for your diet is not impossible. These are some tips for eating whole foods plant based at restaurants:

Do some research before you go: look up the menu online or call ahead to ask about the ingredients and options. You can also check reviews from other customers who follow a similar diet.

Choose restaurants that cater to your preferences: look for vegan, vegetarian or ethnic cuisines that are more likely to have plant based dishes. You can also look for restaurants with salad bars, buffets or customizable options.

Ask for modifications: Feel free to ask for changes or substitutions to make your dish more whole foods plant based. For example, you can ask for no cheese, no sour cream, no mayo, no butter, no oil or no Bring your condiments: if you want to add more flavor or variety to ydressing. Request additional vegetables if possible, beans or grains.

our dish, you can bring your condiments, like salsa, hummus, tahini, mustard or nutritional yeast.

Whole foods plant based diet

Conclusion

Whole foods plant based diet is a healthy and sustainable way of eating that can benefit human health and the environment. Whole foods plant based diet consists of foods that are minimally processed and derived from plants, like fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. This diet can help prevent and treat chronic diseases, like obesity, diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. It can also reduce the environmental impact of food production, like greenhouse gas emissions, water use and land degradation. Whole foods plant based diet is not only good for our bodies, but also for our planet.

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