The Whole Food, Plant-Based is getting more and more attention online and in documentaries like Heal. In this article, we will briefly discuss what a Whole Food, Plant-Based diet is, how it differs from veganism, some tips to get started with cooking and a brief summary of what to look out for when doing grocery shopping on a Whole Food, Plant-Based diet.
What is a Whole Food, Plant-Based (WFPB) diet?
A Whole Food, Plant-Based diet is a term that was introduced by Dr. Campbell, author of The China Study. Based on research, Dr. Campbell discovered that a plant-based diet with mostly wholesome products is best for the human body. So what does this mean?
First of all, plant-based foods like vegetables and fruits are eaten, while animal-based foods are eliminated. On a WFPB diet, there is no space for meat of any kind, fish, cheese, butter, milk and other animal-based products.
Secondly, preference is given to whole foods, meaning foods in their purest possible form. An example is whole grain bread versus white bread, or olives versus olive oil. The idea here is that whole foods have the maximum nutrient profile, whereas processed foods are largely stripped of their nutrients.
The aim of the WFPB diet is to extract as much nutrients as possible by eating wholesome and plant-based foods.
How does the WFPB diet differ from veganism?
Veganism is a lifestyle that emphasizes a life without animal suffering and animal-based products. This goes further than foods and includes things like clothes (no leather).
The Whole Food, Plant-Based diet can be seen as a vegan diet, although it is not necessarily an all-encompassing lifestyle. This can get a little confusing, but a lot of people who eat plant-based also consider themselves to live a fully vegan life as they tend to include compassion for animals from a wider perspective.
Tips to start cooking
- Get yourself a non-stick pan
- Bake lots of sweet potatoes and potatoes in the oven
- Make your plate colourful
- Find two or three recipes that work for you and make them over and over again
- Replace oil with water, soy sauce or tomato sauce
An intro to grocery shopping
Grocery shopping can be a little daunting, especially if you are not used to a plant-based lifestyle. Many people think they need to eat organic food, but that is not true. You can go to your local supermarket and purchase sufficient whole plant food supplies.
The first thing to note is that if a product does not have any ingredients on it, it is probably a whole plant food. Think of the fruit & veg section. Make sure to buy the rainbow, meaning to purchase as big a variety of colours as possible.
Next are whole grains. Make sure to buy brown rice over white rice, whole wheat flour over white flour, and things like quinoa and oats. A whole grain bread should only have a couple of ingredients (most breads have lots of products that make the bread highly processed).
Get a variety of beans and lentils, and top it off with some herbs and spices.
This is your basic starting point for shopping Whole Food, Plant-Based.