You may have recently read my blog post: Discover Why I Have Switched To A Plant-Based Diet. Which may have led you to wonder what exactly is a whole food plant-based diet and is it going to benefit me.
What is a whole food plant-based diet?
So, what exactly is a whole food plant-based diet? Well, whole foods mean natural foods that are not heavily processed, which means whole, unrefined or minimally refined ingredients. Plant-based then means food that comes from plants, which means foods that don't contain any animal products including meat, milk, eggs or honey. During this lifestyle, we put a big emphasis on whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Health Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet
Easy weight loss and weight control
While it is important to remember that eating a whole food plant-based diet is a lifestyle and not just something you do while losing weight. It can 100% help with that. Many different plants close to their natural state have natural elements that regulate your weight.
Wider Range of Nutrients
A well balanced whole food plant-based diet is said to have more nutrients than a typical western diet that includes animal products and by-products. We get more a more extensive range because we tend to eat a wider variety of pulses, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, peas and whole grains to replace the animal products.
Studies have shown that a well balanced whole food plant-based diet tends to be more abundant in:
Vegan diets have been proven to prevent, control, and in some cases, even reverse diabetes. All this can happen because it is a low-fat diet. And the fat we do have are healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that come from things like avocados, olives, nuts and seeds.
Optimal Heart Health
It is believed that those on a whole food plant-based diet have a better heart than those who consume a standard western diet. Studies have found that eating fibre, legumes, vegetables and fruit reduces heart disease. It has also been shown because of this those on a whole food plant-based diet have a 42% lower risk of death by heart disease. Lastly, this diet is also more effective at lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels that can also lead to heart and other health problems.
Protection Against Cancer
The World Health Organisation states that lifestyle factors can prevent around 30% of cancers. Diet is one of these. Because of what a whole food plant-based diet contains and what it avoids, it can help people protect themselves from various cancers. As those of us who follow this diet are likely to consume more significant amounts of legumes, vegetables and fruits we are likely to have lower levels of getting cancer, and if we do get it, we will have a lower risk at dying because of it.
There are also benefits in what we avoid as dairy, smoked meats, processed meats and meats cooked at high temperatures are all said to promote various types of cancer. As we don't eat these though, we don't need to worry.
Environmental Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet
Will cut your carbon footprint
By cutting out dairy and meat products from your diet, you could reduce your carbon footprint by 73%. This will make a much more significant impact than taking public transport of cutting down on air travel etc.
Farmland could be reclaimed and given back to the wild.
If the whole world went plant-based, we would need 75% less farmland. That is an area the size of China, the US, the EU and Australia combined! By doing this, we could halt the extinction of various animals.
There are so many more benefits out there; I have barely scratched the surface. What do you think, are the benefits worth giving up animal products? Or are you still stuck on the fence? If anything I hope this post has prompted you to add more plant-based foods into your diet.
What you should do now
I have been where you are and I have women all over the world (just like you) transition to eating a plant-based diet. If you are looking for a guide to help you find the healthiest way to eat, check out these blog posts it is a great place to start.
If you are interested in weight loss, download this fantastic FREE Mini Weight Loss Guide and other resources.
If you would like to fast track your weight loss, check out my Weight Loss Starter Kit.
And finally, if you want to join the Where My Footsteps Go Community click here.