What is a whole-foods plant-based diet?
A whole-foods plant-based (often referred to as WFPB) diet focuses on unprocessed and minimally processed plant foods (such as vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts, and seeds) and encourages little to no use of animal products, sweeteners, or processed foods.
Why go plant-based?
A plant-based diet is strongly associated with tremendous health benefits, including lower risk – and sometimes even reversal – of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, fatigue, high cholesterol, eczema…the list goes on and on. And if the health benefits weren’t enough, it’s also better for the planet and, of course, the animals.
Where do you get your protein?
The better question is, where don’t we get our protein? Protein can be found aplenty in plants. In fact, all animal protein originated in the plants the animal consumed. If you’re eating a wide variety of plant foods, you will not be protein deficient.
Where’s the oil? Don’t we need healthy fats?
We might need a minimal amount of healthy fats, but not in the form of oil. Once oil is extracted from its source, its unnatural concentration of fat promotes weight gain and an unwelcome variety of health risks. Luckily, whole foods such as avocados, nuts, and seeds not only provide adequate fats but are also delicious!
Why all the date sugar? What even is that?
As far as your body is concerned, there’s little difference between plain ol’ regular sugar and “healthy” sugars (think honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, beet sugar, and the like). Thankfully, whole dates are a delectable way to add some wholesome sweetness to your dish. In their whole-food form, dates boast a host of health-promoting micronutrients, antioxidants, and lots of fiber, which slows down the absorption of the dates’ sugars. Dates also have a neutral flavor that can be paired with just about anything. In recipes where whole dates are not practical, date sugar – which is just ground, dried whole dates, is a wonderful alternative.
What’s the actual deal with soy?
Everyone and their mom has heard the gossip that soy is bad in one way or another. Turns out that the actual science doesn’t really say exactly that, but the truth has become pretty warped through the grapevine. There is so much to say about this humble little bean that’s gotten such a bad rap, but in the interest of brevity, I will cut to the chase: Minimally processed soy (such as tofu, tempeh, miso, soy milk, and more) that is organic and non-GMO can be enjoyed in moderate amounts with many health benefits. It is, however, best to stay away from soy protein isolate and any form of soy that’s been highly processed, as well as soy products containing lots of unwanted additives.
Don’t you ever just want something bad?
Though it’s been many years since I jumped on the WFPB bandwagon, I am continually shocked at the incredible flavor of some of my plant-based concoctions, many of which taste downright junky, in the best possible sense. It truly feels like a little miracle every time I make something that’s as satisfying as it is nutritious, even now. Additionally, now that my diet consists nearly entirely of WFPB foods, I have learned to love so many wholesome things that I just don’t find myself craving the junky stuff nearly as often. When the craving does hit, I can almost always make something WFPB that perfectly hits the spot. On the rare occasion that the craving just cannot be quelled by something in my WFPB kitchen (I’m talking about maybe once a month), I make a decision to indulge, enjoy, and move on with my life.
Got more questions?
I highly encourage you to check out Salad Therapy’s Resources page for everything you ever wanted to know about WFPB science, philosophy, and practical lifestyle.