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Whole Foods Plant-Based Diets: Health and Environmental Benefits

Updated: Jun 9

Whole Foods Plant-Based Diets: Health and Environmental Benefits

Whole Foods Plant Based Diet

1. Health Benefits

Whole food plant-based diets are nutrient-dense and high in essential nutrients, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Studies show that plant-based diets can lower the risk of chronic diseases including heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and certain cancers. Plant-based diets can help with weight management and reducing obesity rates. Keep in mind that protein and healthy fats have been known to release important satiety hormones to help keep us full. These are important components to weight loss and also overall health.

2. Environmental Impact

Whole Food Plant-based diets typically have a lower carbon footprint compared to diets high in animal products. Emphasizing plant-based eating supports more sustainable farming practices and reduces deforestation. Plant-based foods generally require less water to produce compared to animal agriculture.

3. Popular Plant-Based Foods

  • Alternative Proteins: The rise of plant-based meat substitutes like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. Keep in mind that a lot of this alternative proteins are highly-processed and may not be the best source of protein, especially when you consider the other possible added ingredients that aren't health promoting.

  • Whole Foods: Increasing consumption of whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.

  • Dairy Alternatives: Growing popularity of plant-based milks (almond, oat, soy) and dairy-free cheeses and yogurts. Just like with alterative proteins, these can also have added ingredients that aren't good for our health. Also, some of them have a high glycemic response in the body and even added sugars! Watch the labels carefully.

4. Cultural Shifts and Accessibility

More restaurants and food chains are offering plant-based options. Advances in food technology are making plant-based foods more appealing and accessible. Increased efforts to educate the public on the benefits of plant-based eating through documentaries, books, and social media influencers.

Final Thoughts

The movement towards plant-based diets is reshaping how we think about food, health, and sustainability. Whether motivated by health benefits, environmental concerns, or animal welfare, more people are embracing plant-based eating. This trend is likely to continue growing, influencing food production, dietary guidelines, and consumer choices globally. While the details in this information is valid and applicable in today's world, it doesn't necessarily reflect the opinions of Citystead Kitchen on the best way to eat or the best diet for you. Nutrition, like so many things is highly personalized and what works for one person will be different than what works for another. We need to be avoid processed foods as much as possible and even if something is plant based, that doesn't mean it is healthy for us. Between added preservatives, unhealthy vegetable and seed oils and other ingredients, plant based alternatives can often be worse for our health. Sticking to whole foods, real foods and unprocessed foods, and avoiding refined grains and sugars along with vegetable and seed oils is time tested and proven to have the most profound positive impact on health.

If you want to focus on getting certain veggies or proteins in your diet, we have ingredient guides to help you with that and you can find them here. If you want to receive new real food recipes each month so you don't have to sift through recipes yourself, you can find that here!

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