The Whole Food Plant-Based Diet
Under the umbrella term of a 'plant-based' diet, there are many different diets which vary enormously in their composition and macronutrient ratios. Based on the available scientific evidence, I prescribe a whole food plant-based (WFPB) diet, which refers to only consuming foods that come from plants, in as close to their natural state as possible.
A WFPB diet includes:
- Legumes (such as chickpeas and lentils)
- Nuts and seeds
- Whole grains
- Meat and fish
- Dairy products
- Refined oils (even olive oil)
- Refined sugars
- Processed foods
Isn't a WFPB diet a vegan diet?
A WFPB diet is different to veganism.
While people who follow a WFPB diet are essentially on a vegan diet, they may not exclude animal products from their lifestyle (for example, the may still wear leather and silk).
Many vegan foods are highly-processed (such as vegan cheese, mock meat and vegetable oils) and are not included on a WFPB diet.
I align with the vegan diet and lifestyle on ethical and compassionate grounds, but understand not everyone who chooses to follow a plant-based diet feels the same as I do!
Why would someone choose to eat a WFPB diet?
For their health:
WFPB diets are packed with vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre, and contain powerful phytonutrients and antioxidants which help to protect the body's cells from free radical damage. The world's leading nutrition researchers and Physicians (such as T. Colin Campbell, John McDougall, Dr. Caldwell Esselsyn and Dean Ornish) unanimously recommend this diet to prevent and reverse chronic disease.
For the environment:
The easiest and most effective way to reduce your carbon footprint is to stop eating animal foods. Farm animals contribute huge quantities of methane and carbon dioxide (greenhouse gases) and a UN report found that farm animals generate more greenhouse gases than all forms of transportation, combined.
On compassionate grounds:
Modern-day factory farming is a far cry from our idyllic, childhood visions of animals on a farm. Farming is a business, like any other. Costs are cut where possible to maximise profits, which means animals are packed tightly into cages, subjected to painful procedures without anaesthetic, pumped with antibiotics (as a preventative measure) and aren't allowed to socialise or express normal behaviours.
Why am I so passionate about plant-based diets?
I've always felt a deep sense of connection to animals. I simply don't understand why we treat our pets so differently to the way the animals we consume are treated. I have two rabbits who live inside my house, and whom I've spend hundreds of dollars caring for, yet there are rabbits on farms kept in overcrowded wire cages who are brutally slaughtered for human consumption. Why do we eat pigs, chickens, cows and lamb but are disgusted by people in other cultures who eat dog or horse meat? Why do we wear cow skin as leather but that not that of cats? For more on this, there is a fantastic book written by Dr. Melanie Joy titled 'Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows'. Highly recommended.