What is a Plant-Based Diet for Beginners


Health Benefits Of a Plant-based Diet

There is a wealth of scientific evidence to show that numerous chronic diseases can be controlled, prevented, or even reversed by a whole-food, plant-based, diet. The research in the book of the same name The China Study shows that the consumption of plant-based foods can reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain forms of cancer, and other serious diseases. A lot of people report greater results in fitness, greater energy, less inflammation, and improved health outcomes following switching to a plant-based diet. This plant-based diet to Beginners guide will provide the foundation for all you'll need to know to boost your happiness and health through the food you eat.

What Is A Whole-food, Plant-based Diet?

A plant-based, whole-food diet is based on the following fundamentals:
  • Whole foods: Natural food items that aren't highly processed. This means that they are whole, unrefined, or ingredients that are minimally refined.
  • Plant-based: Food that originates from plants, and is devoid of animal-derived ingredients like eggs, milk, meat honey, or eggs.
There's a commonality between whole-food plants, plant-based (WFPB), and vegan diets. However, there are some important distinctions. Vegan diets can contain highly processed imitation cheeses and meats while the WFPB diet avoids these items for foods that are not processed or processed at all, near-nature-based food products that are easy for you to satisfy your nutritional requirements.

The Five Food Groups

Here's a brief overview of the main food groups you can enjoy when following an all-plant diet, including some examples. For a more thorough description of the foods, you can consume when following the WFPB diet, take a look at the Forks Over Knives diet explained.

  • Fruits: Every kind of fruit, including bananas, apples, strawberries, grapes, and citrus fruits.
  • Vegetables: Plenty of veggies such as corn, peppers lettuce, spinach peas, kale, collards, peas, etc.
  • Tubers: Starchy root vegetables like sweet potatoes, potatoes cassava, and yams (aka"yuca).
  • Whole grain: Grains, cereals, and various starches that are in complete form like quinoa, whole wheat, brown rice Oats, popcorn, etc.
  • Lentils: Beans of any variety, including pulses, lentils, and so on. 

There are many other foods that you can like, including avocados, nuts, seeds tofu, tempeh whole grain flour and bread, and dairy products that are plant-based. We recommend that you consume these foods in moderation since they are calorie-rich and could cause weight gain.

The Benefits Of A Whole-food, Plant-based Diet

There are many benefits of switching towards a plant-based diet, all confirmed by scientific research. Plant-based diet benefits include:

Easy weight control: People who follow an organic diet tend to be slimmer than those who don't and the diet makes it simple to shed pounds and maintain it--without counting calories.
Prevention of disease: Whole-food, plant-based eating can help prevent, stop, or in certain cases reverse chronic illnesses. The evidence from science is particularly inconclusive when it comes to heart and diabetic issues but studies have also shown eating a diet that is based on plants lowers incidences of arthritis, better liver function, and healthier kidneys.
A smaller footprint on the environment: A plant-based diet places less strain on the planet.
Take a closer analysis of some of the major benefits of a full-food plant-based diet.

Easy Weight Management

If you're seeking to lose weight (and maintain it) eating a completely plant-based diet is one of the strongest options available to you. Research suggests that those who follow a plant-based diet tend to be healthier than those who do not. A review in 2020 examined 19 intervention studies--i.e. studies where participants were given a certain diet for a specific period of time. The study found that all those who were enrolled in plant-based diets shed weight.

What makes healthy plant-based diets so effective in weight loss? The key to success is calories per unit. Dairy products and highly processed food contain high calories but are low in fiber, making us feel fuller and supporting the healthful intestinal microbiome. Whole plant-based foods are lower in calories, so you can consume a large quantity of food and not overdo your calorie requirements. This is why, on a whole-food diet, which is based on plants it is recommended to eat as much as you like, with no restriction on calories or portions required.

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