Whole Food Plant Based Diet - Health and Sustainable Benefits

 

Whole Food Plant Based Diet - Health and Sustainable Benefits

 

There is a plethora of diets and weight loss programs globally people follow to achieve their desired results. However, despite achieving the desired results some of these diets and the weight loss programs have been unsuccessful in long term weight maintenance after a span of 12-18 months.

 

The key is to continue to eat a well-balanced diet, undertake regular physical activity and embrace it as a lifestyle. So, which diet is well-balanced, helpful in long term weight maintenance as well as provide health benefits?  The answer is the Whole Food, Plant Based Diet (WFPB). How is it different from the other plant based diets?

 

The WFPB Diet includes consumption of whole grains, all kinds of fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds, nuts and excluding or limiting the amount of animal products as well as processed foods. The vegetarian diet is mostly plant based but some vegetarians consume eggs and dairy (Lacto-Ovo), seafood, eggs, dairy (Pescatarian) or only dairy (Lacto Vegetarian). The vegan diet excludes all forms of animal products like meats, poultry, seafood, honey and dairy.

 

The WFPB DIET is rich in micronutrient density. It provides vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, phytochemicals like carotenoids, flavonoids which act as –anti-inflammatory, immune system enhancer, increase the anti-cancer activity and prevent free radical formation. It is also a fibre rich diet which gives a feeling of satiety without increasing the calories indirectly helping in calorie restriction. The different types of fibre and their effects on the healthy bacteria has been extensively researched in the last few years proving beneficial to our digestive system as well as strengthening our immune system. Research studies have also shown that the Whole Food Plant Based Diet has been beneficial in management of obesity, Type-2 diabetes, cardiac disease risk markers and certain types of cancer.

 

Apart from WHAT we eat, HOW we eat plays a significant role in the weight management. Research studies using questionnaires to get feedback among the people have shown that adopting methods of using smaller serving tableware, buying or ordering smaller quantities of food and the practice of eating slowly influences the Portion Size Effect (PSE) which helps in weight management.

 

The WFPB diet is also a sustainable diet for a better TOMORROW. It utilizes less water, soil and land compared to the amount required for the rearing of animals and producing their feed. The production of beef, lamb and goat creates a significant amount of carbon footprint.

 

So, let us do ourselves a favor by eating more plants and less meat in an appropriate way leading to a sustainable YOU and the planet will also THANK YOU.

 

     Food for Thought                                    

1. Consume lot of whole grains along with fruit and vegetables for a wholesome benefit. Follow food guides for portion size.

2. Include moderate amount of physical activity at least 4-5 times in a week.

3. Adhere to the regime of exercise and healthy eating. Make it a way of living just like taking a bath or brushing your teeth.

4. A frozen food box of broccoli and kale pasta may sound and look healthy but it’s loaded with lots of unhealthy fats -  Avoid it.

5. THINK can we eat spaghetti bolognaise with Spinach daily?  

 

 

 References

 1. Hever J, (2016). Plant-Based Diets: A Physician’s Guide. The Permanente Journal, 20(3), 93-101.

 2. Kahleova, H , Dort, S , Holubkov, R ,  Barnard, DN . (2018). A Plant-Based High-Carbohydrate, Low-Fat Diet in Overweight Individuals in a 16-Week Randomized Clinical Trial: The Role of Carbohydrates. Nut 10(1302), 1-14.

 3. Wright, N, Wilson, L , Smith, M , Duncan, B , McHugh, P. (2017). The BROAD study: A randomised controlled trial using a whole food plant-based diet in the community for obesity, ischaemic heart disease or diabetes. Nutr DIABETES 7: 1-10.

 4. Ramage,  S , Farmer, A , Eccles, KA , McCargar, L. (2014).Healthy strategies for    successful weight loss and weight maintenance: a systematic review. Appl. Physiol.  Nutr. Metab.  39: 1-23.

 5. Mc Grievy,  GT , Mandes, T ,  Crimarco,  A. (2017). A plant-based diet for overweight and obesity prevention and treatment. J Geriatr Cardiol ,14: 369-374.