What is a whole food plant based diet?

It's exactly what it says on the tin.

A whole food plant-based diet is one that uses food in its whole form and only from plants which means not eating any animal products such as meat, fish dairy, or eggs. The term implies that you eat a minimum of processed foods so avoiding excess oil, salt, and sugar.

People often think vegan and plant-based is the same thing but there is a difference. If you are following a whole foods plant-based diet then this is usually driven by a desire to have a healthier body. Whereas a vegan will have moral and ethical stances on the way animals are treated and used for human purposes. For example, a vegan wouldn’t wear any animal skin, eat animal products, go to zoo’s and marine parks, they don’t own or use animals for their purposes such as riding horses or working dogs, they purchase cruelty-free cleaning and personal products such as skincare and makeup, they would make ethical and environmental decisions on purchases and ways of living and they will only donate to medical charities if they do not test on animals.

Although a vegan diet also avoids animal products the main difference is that you can be a processed junk food vegan and never see any improvements in your health or longevity.

But I don't like vegetables.....

I hear this lot. Don't worry we are going to work through the reasons why you like some foods and not others.

Everyone is nervous when it comes to change and that’s why we usually do what we have always done. As long as you are willing to open your mind to the idea of trying new foods then you will be surprised at how many new things you suddenly like.
Sometimes it’s not that we don't like a portion of food it that we don't like the way it is cooked. So the texture and taste of say a carrot, can be very different if you boil it compared to roasting it.

When I set meal plans out for people I always start with food that you like. I also show you how to add vegetables to soups, curries, and stews so that they are disguised this way you are gradually changing your taste buds to accept more diversity in your diet.

Diversity is the key to the greatest health improvements and you should aim for 30 different plants a week in your diet. But to start with, if all you like is peas and sweetcorn then that’s a great start! Fruit is sweeter and usually easier to tolerate than some vegetables so include lots of your favourites.




But I like eating pizza and pies!

Don't worry, you can still eat these foods it just that you have to add plant-based cheeses to your pizza and plant-based fillings with your pies.

But remember if the goal is to eat whole foods then you need to search for ways to make them healthy by adding lots of vegetables and using whole grain flour.

Eating processed foods and faux meats is handy when you first switch over to a plant-based diet but they have long term health benefits and are not necessary to create a balanced diet.