Most comprehensive resource on Whole Food Plant-Based Diet
Wed Jun 30, 2021
Whole Food Plant Based Diet, quiet a mouthful isn't it? Trust me, it gets easier. Both to get a hang of the name and also eat this way. Just give it some time. Your body will thank you for it.
The first step to getting started on a whole-foods, plant-based diet is to understand what it is and learn more about it. This will give you clarity on why you need to upgrade your diet and lifestyle. It will empower you with the knowledge to make the change without getting overwhelmed or swayed by misinformation.
The highlight of a whole foods, plant-based diet is the health benefits that you get from following it. Reduced risk of heart disease, better blood sugar levels, reduced diabetes risk, optimal weight and better weight management, reduced risk of strokes, hypertension, asthma, PCOS, and even some types of cancers. In the context of the COVID-19 Pandemic, reduced risk of severe COVID-19 infection. All this has been associated with a whole-foods, plant-based diet.
The term plant based diet refers to a diet which does not include animal products, animal ingredients or food derived from animals. This is also sometimes known as a Vegan Diet. Whole Food adds another dimension to this. A whole-food, plant-based diet is one largely comprised of unprocessed plant foods. This means a diet comprised of a variety of fruits, berries, vegetables, greens, pulses, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, herbs, spices, and mushrooms. All this in their whole form - with the fiber intact- without removing components. Processed foods include oil, sugar/jaggery, white rice, maida, rava, semiya, among others.
Dr. Colin Campbell conducted the world's largest epidemiological study called The China Study. When he compared the diets and health status of rural Chinese to Americans, he found that that the top killers in the US - coronary heart disease and cancers - were practically absent in China! His research showed that this was primarily due to their diet and lifestyle. Consumption of Animal foods, which is big part of the standard American diet, seemed to be the top dietary cause of these diseases. So he named the healthy diet the Chinese followed, the 'Plant Based Diet' in 1982 .
He realised that this definition alone is not enough. By definition, chips and soda are still plant based. So, he added another dimension to the definition and called it the 'Whole-Foods, Plant-Based Diet'.
You already know this. You have probably tried dieting at some point or the other and more likely than not, have failed. I have had patients coming to me, tired of various methods to get to their ideal weight. "Dr, I have tried all diets, but somehow, nothing works. I am fed up!" Sounds familiar?
The problem is not with you, it's because:
'Diets don't work, you go on a diet and you go off a diet. You go back to what you were eating before. When you start eating plant-based food, it becomes a lifestyle. This gives you permanently better health.
A Whole-Foods, Plant-Based Diet is a diet rich in unprocessed plant foods. It calls for the elimination of both animal foods as well as processed foods. It has been shown to prevent, manage and even potentially reverse chronic lifestyle diseases such as coronary artery disease, reduces diabetes risk, risk of high BP, Obesity, PCOS, Asthma and even some types of cancers
On a Whole-Foods, Plant-Based diet, you can eat
These are all whole plant foods, which means they come from plants and are unprocessed - fiber is not removed
On a Whole-Foods, Plant-Based diet, you avoid anything that comes from animals including
You also avoid processed foods including
This is because animal foods including dairy foods, as well as processed foods have been associated with a range of chronic diseases.
A Whole-Foods, Plant-Based Diet shows that the typical western diet pyramid is not scientific. Instead of a diet pyramid, a better representation would be a healthy plate with servings of fruits, vegetables, pulses and legumes, whole grain, nuts and seeds, and herbs and spices. A well balanced nutritious Whole-foods, plant-based diet is one with a lot of variety every day.
There is a fear that you won't be able to meet your protein requirements on a plant based diet. This fear is unfounded.
Overall, not only are plant proteins enough, but they are also vastly healthier for us
List of protein rich plant based items
You can get all minerals from a well planed whole food plant based diet. Eat balanced meals to ensure great health and wellbeing!
The 7 major minerals include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride and sulfur. Here are 10 great everyday sources of minerals in your diet
Vitamins as the name goes and as we have all studied in school are vital for normal growth and development. There are 13 vitamins you need
For all other vitamins include a wide variety of whole plant foods and you have nothing to worry about
A plant based whole food diet has been shown to be the healthiest for humans. The Lifestyle Heart Trial was the first one to prove that a whole food plant based diet along with other positive lifestyle changes could actually reverse heart disease in a majority of patients.
The best way to get started on a whole food plant based diet is to take it one step at a time:
Transitioning to a whole food plant based diet is simple but not necessarily easy. There are several nutritional, social and emotional hurdles to overcome. Here are some tips to help you with the nutritional aspects of the transition.
You can ensure that you get all the nutrients you need on a plant based diet by eating enough of a wide variety of foods regularly and taking supplements for Vit D and Vit B12 regularly.
There are several advantages of a plant based diet. There are health benefits, environmental benefits and ethical benefits of a plant based diet
When you switch to a plant based diet comprised of whole foods, your body can finally start repairing itself. Plant based whole foods provide the body with the right tools to heal itself. Your body is a powerful self-healing machine that just needs the right tools.
A diet rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, and macro nutrients is the solution. One that minimises oxidative stress, doesn't cause a blood sugar spike, is anti inflammatory and wholesome. Here are just 5 of the 100s of positive changes in your body on a plant based diet
This is a difficult task for many of us. the first step is to not convince them, but to first make the change for yourself. The initial months may be hard with doubtful questions, taunts, and ridicule. But seeing is believing. When they start seeing how your life is being transformed and your developments in health, they will become more interested.
Apart from these here are a few things you can do
You can not just sustain but thrive on a plant based lifestyle. Ensure that you first understand why you are doing what you are. Keep the education an ongoing one. Surround yourself with talks, videos, podcasts, posts etc., on the importance of a whole food plant based lifestyle. They serve as reminders and motivation.
The only negative of a plant based diet comprised of whole foods is that it works too well. So if you are on medication for a lifestyle disease, keep track of your values, you may have to work with your doctor to reduce medication. This is because on a plant based diet, your blood sugar starts moving towards normal, your blood pressure starts moving towards normal, so if you are on medication, you will have adjust accordingly.
You can easily cook a whole food plant based diet at home by just changing a few ingredients to your regular cooking. If you are cooking mainly Indian food on a day-to-day basis many of them can be made whole food plant based by simply eliminating oil and dairy.
There are several whole food plant based recipes available for free online. On NutritionScience.in we have over 200 whole food plant based recipes across cuisines, written in detail. You can sign up for the FREE Plant Based Recipes Masterclass and try out these whole food plant based recipes at home.
You can also get good whole food plant based recipes from books such as the 'China Study Cookbook', The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, 'How Not To Die Cookbook', 'How Not to Diet Cookbook' to name a few.
Dr. Michael Greger is an American physician. He advocates for the adoption of a whole food plant based diet, which is backed by the best available balance of evidence. He is the founder of NutritionFacts.org. He is a best selling author, speaker, and expert on plant based nutrition.
NutritionFacts.org is a science-based, not-for-profit platform. It provides free updates on the latest in nutrition research via bite-sized videos. It also has captions offered in multiple languages, blogs, and infographics.
Dr. Greger's books 'How not to Die' and 'How not to Diet' have been New York times best sellers multiple times.
The Daily Dozen checklist is a list of various groups of whole plant foods that one must eat every single day for optimal health. Designed by Dr. Michael Greger from nutritionfacts.org, the checklist has 12 food groups. It also mentions the required quantities that, when consumed daily, have been scientifically proven to lower risk of Chronic Lifestyle Disease
You can use the daily dozen checklist in Indian cooking quite easily.
A calorie is unit to measure energy in food.
Calorie density is the measure of how many calories are there in a given weight of food.
While many traditional diets focus on counting calories and restricting calories as a way to gain or lose weight. This is not an effective approach. You often end up eating poor quality, high calorie food, and therefore are left hungry lacking in nutrition.
When it comes to health and long term weight loss, it is not about calories but calorie density.
For example 1 samosa (approx 100 gms) has about 300 calories. This is not going to fill you up, or give you adequate nutrition. It is also going to get absorbed quickly leading to a blood sugar spike.
On the other, if you choose watermelon, to eat 300 calories, you'll have to eat 1 kg of watermelon which is definitely going to keep you full, nourish you, and your blood sugar will be steady.
When glucose is used to make energy in our cells it produces free radicals. Free radicals damage the cell from the inside out. This is called oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress causes diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, etc.
Whole Plant Foods are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralise free radicals and keep you healthy.
Antioxidants slow down oxidative stress which is associated with wrinkles, memory loss, and organ system breakdown due to ageing. Antioxidant-rich diets appear to protect against stroke and may also help decrease artery stiffness, prevent blood clots from forming and lower blood pressure and inflammation.
On average, plant foods have 64 times more antioxidants than animal foods - that's a huge margin. Choose wisely.
Phytonutrients are plant nutrients. They are nutrients that plants make to keep themselves healthy. When we eat whole plant foods, the same phytonutrients keep us healthy.
There are more thank 1 lakh phytonutrients and more being discovered everyday. Commonly known phytonutrients are Curcumin, Chlorophyll, Lycopene, etc.
Only whole plant foods have phytonutrients.
No, all animal products are avoided on a plant based diet. This is including meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products. A plant based diet is one where everything you eat, comes from plants. Plant based diets comprised of whole foods have been found to be the healthiest food for us.
No, eggs are avoided on a plant based diet. Eggs come from animals and not plants. They are high in saturated fats and have been linked to chronic lifestyle disease. You can however, use plant based ingredients as egg replacers in recipes. You can use flaxseeds in baking and tofu in some other dishes to make them taste like egg-based ones. This way, you can still be healthy while eating a variety of delicious dishes.
Fish is not a part of a plant based diet, as it does not come from a plant. Fish are low in antioxidants and phytonutrients and lack fiber. They also contain some cholesterol and saturated animal fat. Fish is also the leading source of many toxic pollutants. Compared to other whole plant foods, fish is not a health promoting food and is best avoided for optimal health.
All protein is not equal. The source of protein matters when in comes to long-term health and overall health benefits. Plant proteins come out on top in this battle. Here's how:
Whole plant sources of protein comes with with a variety of other nutrients. They are antioxidant rich, packed with phytonutrients, fiber rich, full of vitamins and minerals. They do not have cholesterol, are not high in saturated fats unlike animal sources of protein. Animal protein has no fiber and phytonutrients. They are low in antioxidants, high in cholesterol and saturated fats.
Whole plant sources of protein have been found to have protective effects on overall health and lowers risk of chronic lifestyle disease. Animal sources of protein have been associated with disease risk including cardiovascular diseases and some types of cancers among others.
One of the reasons you adopt a plant based diet is for ethical reasons. Animal agriculture is a cruel industry that enslaves, tortures, rapes and kills animals for various purposes. These animals are bred for this purpose and live in cages all their lives. They are confined to small, unsanitary cages, they are maimed to suit the needs of the end 'product'. Even free range animals at the end of the day are bred for slaughter and live their lives in captivity and are commodified.
Veganism is a social justice movement against the commodification of animals. This means that we don't use animals or their products for food, clothing, cosmetics, accessories, or entertainment. It is a movement calling for non-violence against animals
Yes, eggs are not a part of a healthy diet and is dangerous for us. Some experts say even one egg a day increases your cholesterol, and therefore increases your cardiovascular disease risk. Cholesterol is also linked to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and certain types of cancers among others.
You can avoid eggs by learning how to make egg-based dishes with whole plant ingredients. For example, flaxseed can be used instead of eggs in baking, you can crumble tofu and stir fry it with vegetables and add a bit of black salt to mimic egg burji.
Common examples of processed food in India are
Apart from these, store packaged food may contain processed ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, dalda, corn starch, aginomoto, and various other extracted foods that are unhealthy for us.
All these are considered processed foods and have been associated with higher risk of chronic lifestyle diseases
In the context of health, processed foods are defined as food from which something good has been removed or something bad added.
Usually foods from which fiber has been stripped are the most common processed foods in our diet. For example polished rice is rice where the bran has been removed. All oils are extracted foods without fiber.
Processed foods are not healthy for us and have been associated with the range of Chronic Lifestyle Diseases. This is because:
These are just some of the reasons why processed foods are unhealthy for us and are best avoided.
Yes, refined sugar/processed sugar is unhealthy for us as compared to whole food plant based sweeteners like dates. This is because sugar is a processed food, has no fiber or nutrition and causes a blood sugar spike.
They are not just empty calories but actually harmful calories.
You can avoid refined sugar by substituting it with healthier sweetners such as Dates syrup. Soak and grind dates and use it with the fiber intact.
Coffee has been associated with higher cholesterol levels among certain individuals. Coffee is also addictive because of the caffeine in it. It can be attributed to constipation, dehydration and poor sleep in individuals
You can replace coffee with herb and spice drinks. Kashayms don't have to be bitter and taste bad. They can be delicious full of flavour, fresh herbs and spices. They can even be sweetened with dates syrup.
There are superb alternative to drinks like tea and coffee, giving you the much needed antioxidant boost and energetic start to the day.
Frying food is not recommended on a healthy diet. Any use of oil is not only unnecessary, but also counterproductive to long-term health.
For all these reasons and more it is best to avoid frying food or using extracted oil in any form.
You can easily cook most dishes that you consume on a daily basis without using any oil.
White rice is a processed food and is not good for health. Did you know that there is no variety of rice that is white?
On whole food plant based diet you can have any unpolished whole grain. Brown rice, red rice, black rice, unpolished millets like ragi, jowar, foxtail millets, whole wheat, etc.
Whole wheat is good for health. Unless your allergic to it or have autoimmune conditions that are triggered by whole wheat, they are healthful for you.
Under 2% of the population have autoimmune conditions that are triggered by gluten. For these people whole wheat is to be avoided completely. For the rest of the population it is a healthy food.
You also get other crucifers like broccoli, bok choy, brussel sprouts, and kale in some parts of the country
Something as simple as eating Fruits everyday can make or break our health.
In a tropical country like ours, we have access to local and seasonal fruits all year round.
Some examples are:
Yes, Diabetics not only can eat fruits, but should eat fruits for best health outcomes.
The reasons why Diabetics are advised against fruits are:
Is this true?
You can add berries like amla in you salads and smoothies. You can also add amla in rasam and sambar to give it that lovely tang. Low-salt pickles are a great way to have amla as well.
Amla is not only the healthiest berry, but the healthiest food in the world, when it comes to its antioxidant capacity. It is easily available in India. You can have dried amla powder too!
Nutritionally important berries available in India are:
Beans here refer to legumes lentils and pulses. In the Indian cuisine there are a fairly large number of preparations based on these ingredients.
There are several legumes, lentils and pulses in India, the most common among there are as follows:
You can include greens fairly easily in your daily diet
There are several varieties of green leafy vegetables in India
You can include a wide variety of non leafy vegetable in your daily diet.
Flaxseed comes with numerous benefits and is an essential part of everyday nutrition. Rich in Omega 3s, Lignan, protein, dietary fiber and more, these tiny seeds are power packed!
You can include flax seeds by grinding it up and adding it to you rotis, you can also make laddus - this is what we do at Sampoorna Ahara. We even enrich them with Vit B12!
The best way to include nuts in your everyday diet is to add to your meals.
You can include whole grains in your daily diet by just making a simple switch.
Indian cooking by default includes a huge variety of spices. Turmeric, pepper, jeera, cinnamon, cardamom, ajwain, mustard, bay leaves, cloves, star anise, mace nutmeg, saffron, caraway seeds, etc.
We make and use various combinations of spice mixes with these spices to flavour different dishes. If you are cooking regular Indian food at home you are likely using a variety of spices
Water is the best beverage to drink to and is necessary in adequate quantities to stay hydrated. If you'd like to make water healthier, add some herbs and spices to it and sip on it the whole day. This will give you a steady boost of antioxidants throughout the day and you can have different flavours each time
You can find several recipes on NutritionScience.in
How do I eat Sweets, Cakes, and Bakes without Sugar?
You can eat sweets, cakes and bakes, cookies, payasams and more on a whole food plant based diet which is completely sugar/jaggery- free, oil-free, vegan, maida free
You can either bake your own oil-free snacks at home or buy oil-free snacks from healthy brands like SampoornaAhara.com
Every single one of these items can be made using whole grains without the use of dairy or sugar/jaggery. You can enjoy the best of both worlds by snacking healthy and enjoying a wide variety too!
There are countless number of diets out there. There are more being added everyday. Most of them are fad diets that become popular for short period of time and fade away just as quickly.
These diets are neither healthy or sustainable for us in the long run.
Instead of focusing on diets putting your energy into changing your lifestyle and building healthy habits is worthwhile.
A Whole Food Plant Based diet is not a diet in the traditional sense of the word. It is a lifestyle where you eat foods that are whole, not processed and eating foods that come from plants and not animals. Processed food is defined as food from which nothing good is removed & nothing bad is added.
Vegan, on the other hand is not really a diet at all! It is a social justice movement against the use of animals as commodities. It is a movement calling for non-violence against animals. One of the aspects of being Vegan is eating food that come only from plants.
A Whole Food Plant Based diet focuses on a Lifestyle with main aim of health. It excludes all animal based products including meat, fish, eggs, and all dairy products. It also excludes all processed foods including oil, white rice, maida, rava, semiya, sugar, jaggery, and alcohol.
A vegetarian diet on the other hand is one that only excludes meat, fish, and in some cases eggs. It is not a diet that focuses on long term health but one that is built on on principle.
A Whole Food Plant Based diet is founded on sound research. It is a dietary recommendation that calls for the exclusion of animal foods and processed foods. It calls for the inclusion of a variety of whole plant foods. It does not call for the elimination of any single micronutrient, and has several proven long-term health benefits.
A Ketogenic diet on the other hand, calls for the exclusion of a whole group of macronutrients - carbs. It is a high fat, carbohydrate deficient diet to mimic the fasting state. It has only been found to be helpful for those with pediatric epilepsy and not the general population. People on the ketogenic diet may have lost weight but at the cost of long term risk of chronic diseases and a lack of complete nutrition especially micronutrients.
A Whole Food Plant Based diet is founded on sound research. It is a dietary recommendation that calls for the exclusion of animal foods and processed foods. It calls for the inclusion of a variety of whole plant foods. It does not call for the elimination of any single micronutrient, and has several proven long-term health benefits. It is based on what we have evolved to eat over 25 million years
The paleo diet is based on the idea that chronic diseases stem from a disconnect between what we were eating during the stone age and what we're eating today. It suggests that if you return to a hunter gatherer diet of lean meat, fruits, vegetables, and nuts we will be rid of this chronic diseases.
The truth is that human beings have been evolving for the last 25 million years and our nutritional requirements and physiology was set way back then. The paleo diet takes into account only the last two million years. If we go back a little more to the first 90% of our evolution we find that our ancestors were eating over 95% plants.
A Paleo diet may not be the answer to the question of chronic disease, a Whole Food Plant Based diet may just be
A Whole Food Plant Based diet is one that calls for the exclusion of all animal and processed foods. It calls for the inclusion of a wide variety of whole plant foods. This is based on decades of research that show that a whole food plant based diet may be the most effective against chronic lifestyle diseases
A Mediterranean diet which is believed to be the healthiest diet also calls for the elimination of processed foods. It calls for the maximization of whole plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, pulses and legumes, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices. To this extent a Whole Food Plant Based diet and Mediterranean diet are similar.
The difference is that a Mediterranean diet calls for the inclusion of seafood and moderate consumption of other animal foods and rare consumption of red meat.
While a Mediterranean diet may be healthier than what most people are eating, it is not as healthy as a Whole Food Plant Based diet. This has been proven time and again by research, particularly for coronary artery disease which is the No1. cause of death today
A Whole Food Plant Based diet is one where you eat a diet rich in plant foods that are unprocessed. This means that everything you eat comes from a plant and is in its whole form, with the fibre intact.
A Pescatarian diet is one where meat is excluded but fish and dairy products are included. On a pescatarian diet processed foods are also not excluded. A Pescatarian diet is not founded on long-term health, and much like a vegetarian diet, is founded on principle
A Whole Food Plant Based diet is one that focuses on building healthy habits for a lifetime. It is based on the best available balance of evidence. It encourages you to get out of your diet mentality and focus on long-term health. A Whole Food Plant Based diet has been shown to prevent treat and reverse chronic Lifestyle diseases and improve both short and long-term health.
Intuitive eating is an eating style that promotes a healthy attitude towards food and the idea that you should eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. Intuitive eating calls for looking at food as neither good or bad and have enjoyable eating experiences. It propagates that food that tastes good should make you feel good.
While some of these may be true and the general attitude towards food should be one devoid of fear and negativity. Developments in health studies have shown us that some foods are not healthy for us even though they may taste good.
This is especially true with processed foods. Sugar and salt are physiological addictive. So is fat. Some other unhealthy foods that tastes good and addictive are anything with caffeine, cheese, and high fat foods.
Intuitive eating is not based on scientific research and may be dangerous for people with chronic lifestyle diseases
A Whole Food Plant Based diet, is the best diet for weight loss. This is because whole plant foods are calorie dilute and rich in nutrients. Fiber-rich plant diets ensure that absorption of food remains slow and you don't get hungry soon. You can start with simple steps like carrying an apple to lunch or using nut butter to breakfast toast. Even as little as one medium apple can help get you started on a healthy diet to aid weight loss.
All this while also being the most nutritious foods for us to eat.
In fact on a Whole Food Plant Based diet weight-loss becomes a side effect of good health. It allows you to focus on developments in health rather than weight-loss. Not only are you able to prevent treat and potentially reverse chronic disease but also move towards your ideal weight without even trying
Studies have found that "Consuming as little as 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dairy milk per day was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer of 30%. By drinking up to one cup per day, the associated risk went up to 50%, and for those drinking two to three cups per day, the risk increased further to 70% to 80%." - Dairy, soy, and risk of breast cancer: those confounded milks
You can make plant based dairy alternatives using whole grains, pulses, legumes, nuts and seeds.
To ensure that it is Whole Food Plant Based:
You can make plant-based mylks using whole grains, pulses, legumes, nuts and seeds. Here is a quick list
Developments in health studies have shown us that whole food plant based mylks are far heathier than their dairy counterparts
You can make plant based butter, cheese, yogurt, and ghee using soya, nuts and seeds. Here is a quick list
You can use these butter to breakfast toasts, to make gravies creamier, and even in baking.
You can easily make plant based mylk products at home by soaking and grinding nuts, seeds and whole grains to a smooth paste. You can make nut butters and curds at home as well.
Check out www.nutritionscience.in for recipes
The top diseases in India today are include several chronic lifestyle diseases
Poor nutrition, lack of adequate healthcare, inability to access quality healthcare, poor hygiene standards, increase in smoking and alcohol, are some of the reasons Indians are dying from the top diseases in India today.
A Whole Food Plant Based diet is the only therapy that has been found to control, treat, reverse and prevent heart disease in a majority of patients.
The Lifestyle Heart Trial by Dr. Dean Ornish shows that a Whole Food Plant Based diet along with other positive Lifestyle changes like exercise and meditation not only help prevent but also a reverse heart disease in a majority of patients.
Eating food rich in whole plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, pulses, legumes, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices and mushrooms are the best way forward.
A plant based diet comprising whole foods has been shown to reverse coronary artery disease in clinical studies.
Eliminating animal foods such as meat, fish, eggs, and all dairy products and processed foods such as oil, refined grains, refined sugars, and alcohol, which are the root causes of the disease, have been shown to help reverse it.
Eating a diet rich in whole plant foods, regular physical exercise, stress management techniques, and community support have helped people reverse heart disease. The plaque melts and the arteries open up.
You run the risk of stroke due to several factors. Primary among them is your diet. Animal food, processed food and diets high in sodium increase stroke risk. Air pollution and smoking is also contributing factor to stroke risk.
Overall a diet rich in whole plant foods, which is low in Salt, along with regular physical exercise and no smoking can reduce your stroke risk to a minimum.
Type 2 diabetes is increasing in India by the day. Today, India is the world's diabetic capital. Not only are more people being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes but they are also being diagnosed younger and younger. This is because we are moving towards a standard American diet or what we popularly call the western diet.
Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable, treatable, and sometimes even reversible through diet and lifestyle changes. A Whole Food Plant Based along with regular physical exercise and good stress management practices can help prevent, treat, and potentially reverse diabetes.
You can consult Lifestyle Physician and through a guided program easily prevent and potentially reverse type 2 diabetes.
There are different types of cancers that affect people during different stages of their lives and some people are more at risk than others.
Some cancers are genetic and they may not be much that you can do to prevent them.
However, the most common cancers in women and men in India today - breast cancer and prostate cancer - are both associated with our lifestyle.
A Whole Food Plant Based diet can lower risk of lifestyle related cancers such as breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Studies have shown that a Whole Food Plant Based diet may be effective in reversing early-stage prostate cancer in a majority of patients
There have been no studies showing that Whole Food Plant Based diet can reverse any other type of cancer.
The number of people suffering from chronic lifestyle disease in India is rapidly increasing. Some of the top chronic lifestyle diseases in India today are
You can avoid these diseases by adopting a Whole Food Plant Based diet. Chronic Lifestyle Diseases as the name suggest are diseases that have their roots in your lifestyle - diet, exercise and stress.
By adopting a healthy lifestyle you can minimise your risk for these diseases and even avoid them completely.
You can control your cholesterol levels by eliminating animal foods from your diet such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products. Eliminating processed food such as oil is also key to keeping your cholesterol levels in the normal range.
If you are suffering from high cholesterol, it is also recommended to minimise the consumption of coconut and coffee.
Upgrading to a Whole Food Plant Based diet is the best way to keep your cholesterol under control.
You can treat cure or prevent inflammation by eating a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods.
Anti-inflammatory foods are whole plant foods. this is because they are fiber rich and therefore rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. They also slow down absorption of food into the body keeping blood sugar levels stable and reducing oxidative stress which causes inflammation.
At this time especially, avoiding animal and processed foods becomes extremely important. Animal foods including dairy have been shown to be inflammatory. Processed foods are also inflammatory because they are low in fiber and an absorbed easily by the body causing oxidative stress.
You can control blood pressure by eliminating all animal foods including dairy as well as oil. Low salt diets are the best at keeping your blood pressure under control.
Include a diet rich in whole plant foods for best results. Ideal blood pressure is 110/70.
You can prevent covid-19 infection by following covid appropriate protocols in your daily life. Masking and maintaining distance are necessary. Ensure that you are double masking, keeping at least 6 feet distance from other people, and sanitizing your hands.
On the other hand you can improve your body's ability to fight covid-19 by eating a healthy diet. A diet rich in whole plant foods is ideal.
You can lose weight and gain health on a Whole Food Plant Based diet.
A Whole Food Plant Based diet is calorie dilute and rich in vitamins, minerals, micro and macronutrients. They are also rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients.
Whole plant foods automatically help in achieving your ideal weight without having to think or worry about it. All this while also improving your overall health, energy levels, skin, and hair, and reducing your risk of chronic lifestyle diseases.
Lose weight as a side effect of health, on a Whole Food Plant Based diet.
Rheumatoid arthritis may be prevented treated and even reversed through Whole Food Plant Based diet.
A Whole Food Plant Based diet could improve gut microbiome. This reduces risk of urinary tract infection UTI. Rheumatoid arthritis may be triggered by a UTI and plant based diets reduce the risk.
Plant-based foods are rich in anti inflammatory phytonutrients. This reduces pain and swelling associated with rheumatoid arthritis and helps treat the condition.
A Whole Food Plant Based diet is beneficial for autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases are caused when the immune system attacks your own body cells.
Autoimmune diseases may be triggered by consuming animal foods which cause leaky gut and absorption of partially digested proteins. An immune response to these proteins may trigger autoimmune conditions in the body.
A Whole Food Plant Based diet has been found to reduce inflammatory response, help in treating autoimmune conditions. A Whole Food Plant Based diet can potentially even reverse autoimmune diseases in some people.
Yes, the WFPB system works on alleviating kidney disease.
Animal protein has been found to activate kidney inflammation, causes kidney damage, and protein leakage leading to chronic kidney disease.
Plant-based foods are alkaline in nature and protect overall health. They also reduce inflammation. A Whole Food Plant Based diet has been proven to arrest decline in kidney function in cases of chronic kidney disease.
When it comes to menopausal symptoms a Whole Food Plant Based diet can help immensely. Studies have found that soy foods can reduce a significant reduction in hot flashes, muscle and joint pain and vaginal dryness.
A healthy, well balanced Whole Food Plant Based diet is also anti-inflammatory and rich in in antioxidants, phytonutrients, minerals, and vitamins.
This improves the overall health especially during menopausal times.
Yes, you can eat bread on a Whole Food Plant Based diet. Ensure that it is made with whole grains like whole wheat or millets, that it is made without using any oil or dairy products. Ensure that it also doesn't have sugar or other additives. Sampoorna Ahara's range of breads are a perfect fit.
No, you cannot eat eggs on a plant based diet as it comes from an animal and not a plant. They are high in cholesterol and animal protein which is associated with disease risk.
Yes, all starchy vegetables like potatoes are a part of a healthy plant based diet. They are fiber rich and don't cause a blood sugar spike. They are a health source of vitamin and minerals.
Yes, you can have coffee on a plant based diet. If you are adding milk, ensure that it is plant-based milk like unsweetened almond milk with the fiber intact and avoid sugar/jaggery/honey to sweeten it. However, coffee is not a healthy food and has been shown to rise cholesterol.
Yes, a plant-based diet comprised of whole foods is designed to help you reach your ideal weight as all ingredients are calorie dilute. You will lose weight if you are overweight to begin with. It is the healthiest way to lose weight as you gain health in the process.
Yes, pasta is ok on a plant-based diet as long as it is not made from processed ingredients like all purpose flour, oil, dairy, or any grain without its fiber. Look for 100% whole grain or lentil pasta. Make the pasta with plant milks like unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk with the fiber intact.
No, you cannot eat dairy cheese on a plant based diet. This is because is it an animal product. It is also high in saturated fats and has been linked to chronic lifestyle disease. You can eat plant based cheeses made from nuts, tofu and seeds on a plant based diet.
You can choose from a wide variety of breakfast dishes on a plant based diet. Anything from a medium apple to peanut butter on whole wheat toast, to upma, dosa, idli, poha, etc. It comes down to the ingredients used in making them. As long as you use unprocessed plant ingredients, you can have any dish you like.
You can't lose weight on a plant based diet if you are eating a diet comprised of processed foods made with ingredients like oil, maida, refined grains, sugar/jaggery, filtered plant milks like filtered coconut milk or drinking alcohol. In order to lose weight on a plant based diet, choose foods that are also unprocessed - the best option is to eat a low-fat Whole Food Plant Based diet. If you are not overweight to begin with, you won't lose weight on a plant based diet.
A vegetarian diet is not the same as a plant based diet. On a vegetarian diet, people consume dairy products and some people even eggs. A plant based diet is one where only foods that come from plant sources are consumed and a whole food plant based diet is one with a focus on unprocessed plant foods.
A plant based breakfast is one where all the breakfast foods are made from plant foods. The dishes may range from toasts to pancakes, but made using ingredients that come from plants only. You can have a healthy, full fledged breakfast with dishes made from plant based ingredients.
Yes, smoothies are healthy if made from whole plant ingredients. They are fiber rich and a great way to get fruits, vegetables, greens, spices, herbs, and nuts. They are packed with vitamins and minerals too! Using plant milks like unfiltered coconut milk or almond milk instead of dairy, dates instead of sugar/jaggery/honey and sipping on the smoothie and drinking it slowly is the healthiest.
Yes, a Whole Food Plant Based diet along with other positive lifestyle changes such as regular physical exercise and stress management is the only therapy proven to reverse coronary heart disease. The Lifestyle Heart Trial by Dr. Dean Ornish proved that coronary heart disease can be reversed through lifestyle interventions.
Yes, vegans can get cardiovascular disease, if their diet is comprised of processed foods made with oil, sugar/jaggery, refined grains and flour and if they consume alcohol or smoke. To reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, in addition to eating a vegan or plant based diet, one must also eliminate processed food. Moving to a Whole Food Plant Based diet, regular physical exercise and effective stress management is the key to lower risk.
Plant based diets comprised of whole foods, along with other healthy lifestyle changes, have been shown to help improve congestive heart failure.
The duration varies from person to person. This may depend on the severity of the disease, genetic factors, and the body's ability to repair. A Whole Food Plant Based diet, along with other healthy lifestyle changes have been shown to reverse heart disease in a majority of patients.
This may also differ from person to person depending on how much weight you begin with and how far it is from your ideal weight range. Your metabolism, other disease conditions, etc. Healthy weight loss on average is slow and steady. Approximately 200 grams a week or 1kg a month.
No, plant protein is not bad for your kidneys. Plant proteins come with the whole range of nutrients, antioxidants and phytonutrients that only help you get healthier. This is unlike animal proteins which has been found to be harmful for kidneys.
Yes, a Whole Food Plant Based diet a sustainable. Unlike fad diets a Whole Food Plant Based diet is not a diet in the traditional sense. It is a lifestyle change. It also focuses on the healthiest way of eating for both short and long-term health. This makes the Whole Food Plant Based diet sustainable.
This varies from person to person depending on the kind of food you eat and the geography you live in. On average a Whole Food Plant Based diet is cheaper than a "normal" diet. Choose local and seasonal foods to keep costs low.
No, egg whites are not ok on a plant based diet. This is because eggs are not plant-based they come from animals. On a plant-based diet, you only eat what comes from plants and totally avoid what comes from animals.
Eating a diet comprised of whole plant foods is the best way to reduce plaque in arteries and prevent heart disease. A single ingredient, however healthy it may be, will not alone make a difference.
Yes, nut butters are whole plant foods and therefore a part of a Whole Food Plant Based diet. Technically, nut butters are a single ingredient condiment. Many of the nut butters that you get in stores may have preservatives, additives and may also not be completely whole food plant based so check the label before buying.
A Whole Food Plant Based diet is a Lifestyle and not a traditional diet so the concept of cheat days does not exist
Yes, you can use vinegar on a plant based diet. The most popular vinegar is apple cider vinegar. They make for great salad toppings and dressings. Apple cider vinegar is easily available in India.
Yes, peanut butter is a whole plant food. Peanut butter is fiber rich and a nutrient dense condiment. It is whole food plant based provided it does not have any added oil/sugar/honey, etc.
Yes, pumpkin seeds are plant based, they come from plants and are unprocessed. They are extremely nutritious and make for great salad toppings.
Yes, pumpkin seeds are anti-inflammatory and nutrient rich. They are a source of good fats and make for great salad toppings.
Barring few minor differences such as pumpkin seed having slightly fewer calories and giving a bit more protein, both seeds are nutrient rich. Pumpkin seeds may provide a higher value of magnesium and phosphorus. In practice eating both pumpkin and sunflower seeds are great for health.
No, you will not have to miss your favourite foods if you are on a Whole Food Plant Based diet. You can recreate your favourite dishes with whole food plant based ingredients and enjoy the best of both worlds. Right from pizzas to payasams, pastas to poriyals you can have them all.
Yes, soya milk is a whole plant food. It is the healthiest plant based milk. It is rich in protein, packed with other nutrients and has unique benefits.
Unfiltered almond milk is a whole plant food. This means almond milk without the fiber removed. Most of the store bought almond milk will be filtered and those are not whole food plant based.
Any plant milk that is unfiltered (retaining fiber) and doesn't have any additives is the least processed plant milk. If you are buying off the shelf, your best bet would be unsweetened soya milk.
You can follow a Whole Food Plant Based diet while travelling by planning in advance. You can carry ingredients that may be hard to come by, find eateries that offer healthy food, ask for customised meals, or even cook on your own.
You can eat low-salt, no oil pickles on a Whole Food Plant Based diet. You can make fresh 'pickle' with amla, radish, turnip, etc.
Yes, you can eat pappads on a Whole Food Plant Based diet. Ensure that they are made without added oil. You can have low salt, whole grain or lentil based papad regularly.
You need all vitamins to lead a healthy lifestyle and you can meet your vitamin requirements easily on plant based diet. Eat a varied, balanced diet for best benefits.
Vitamin B12 is not made by plants or animals but by bacteria in the soil that blanket the surface of the earth. On a plant based diet, it is recommended that you take a Vit B12 supplement to meet your requirements.
Vitamin B12 is not made by plants or animals but by bacteria in the soil that blanket the surface of the earth. You can get vitamin B12 naturally if you live a lifestyle where there is high daily interaction with soils and streams. This may also put you at higher risk of tapeworm infections. Supplementation is recommended.
It is recommended that you take cyanocobalamin 2500mcg per week up to age 65 and1000 mcg daily for those above the age of 65 as a B12 supplement on a plant based diet.
Yes, you can eat brown rice on a plant based diet. Brown rice is a whole food plant based ingredient. It is full of fiber rich in vitamins and minerals, and high in phytonutrients. It is a healthy alternative to white rice.
No, nutritional yeast is not a probiotic. It is a healthy whole food plant based ingredient that you can use in dishes to make a cheesy flavour.
Yes, you can put nutritional yeast on your salad. Nutritional yeast is healthy and gives a cheesy flavour to your dish. Nutritional yeast makes for a great salad topping.
No you cannot eat regular store-bought candies on a Whole Food Plant Based diet. You can eat whole food plant based candies that are not sweetened with sugar or other processed sweeteners and those that do not contain fruit extracts or fruit juices.
Honey is Bee Vomit. Honey is not a part of a plant based diet because it is not made by a plant. It is made by bees for their babies. Honey is also not a healthy sweetener as it raises blood sugar levels.
Fruit based sweeteners with the fiber intact are some of the healthiest plant based sweeteners. This includes dates, raisins, mangoes, figs, and jackfruits. Stevia is also a healthy sweetener.
No, because syrups like maple syrup and filtered date syrup are processed foods. This is because something good has been removed from them. In this case, it's the fiber. These sweeteners cause a blood sugar spike and not the healthiest to consume. Switch them for unfiltered date syrup and stevia which are healthy sweeteners.
You should eat a wide range of foods on a Whole Food Plant Based diet. This is the healthiest way of eating whole plant foods. Different plant foods have different specific benefits and to get them all, a wide variety of food is recommended. This includes different fruits, vegetables, pulses, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, and mushrooms.
Yes, eating raw is considered real food. The healthiest raw foods are those that come from plants and are whole or unprocessed. You can thrive on a completely raw Whole Food Plant Based diet. This requires careful planning to include all necessary nutrients and eating enough calories.
Healthy food can be tasty food. Remember the taste and flavour of most foods come from herbs and spices. These are some of the healthiest ingredients out there. Once you move towards healthy whole food plant based diet, that is low salt and no sugar. You can re-sensitize your taste buds, that have been dulled by the consumption of high salt and sugary foods. This may take up to a week of eating completely low-salt and no sugar after which you cannot go back to enjoying them easily.
Yes, you can snack on whole food plant based snacks. Oil-free crackers, healthy sweets, fruits, vegetable sticks, dry fruits and nuts, are some examples. You can make almost any snack whole food plant based by changing the ingredients you use.
Yes, you can. You can thrive as a Whole Food Plant Based athlete. Not only will you be able to meet all your nutritional requirements, your post workout recovery will be better and faster. This is attributed to the low inflammatory. high antioxidant Whole Food Plant Based diet.
You may experience some bloating and discomfort in the form of flatulence initially as you increase your fiber intake.It is recommended to up your fiber intake step-by-step. This should settle within a few weeks. After which there will be a marked improvement in your gut health.
No, plant based diets do not cause constipation if they are comprised of whole foods. This is because of the high fiber content of whole plant based foods which actually aids digestion. Low fiber diets are associated with constipation.
It is recommended to identify the cause of diarrhea under the guidance of a physician and follow treatment protocols set by your physician.
Fruit Juice is not healthy. Due to the lack of fiber, it gets absorbed by the blood quickly causing a blood sugar spike. You lose many vital nutrients while juicing due to the fiber being removed. Opt for whole food plant based smoothies instead.
Dr Achyuthan Eswar
Lifestyle Medicine Physician. Co-Founder, Nutrition Science. Co-Founder, Sampoorna Ahara.