Vegan, vegetarian, reducetarian, or plant based diet, different lifestyle for everyone. The more important than ever is to make sure we get it all correct.
Any diet or lifestyle can be healthy or unhealthy.
For example, vegans do not eat eggs and dairy products (milk, butter, yogurt etc.) while vegetarians eat all these. But a vegan living on potato chips isn`t “healthier” than a vegetarian who mostly eats salads with cheese.
The whole foods plant based diet (WFPBD) is a diet that’s been gaining in popularity among nutritionists and celebrities.
People usually get wrong about whole foods plant based diet and they identify it with veganism. But they are absolutely wrong. And we’re going to explain what is the difference between whole foods plant based diet and vegan diet.
Vegans abstain from eating any animal products. According to The Vegan Peace, “Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practical, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose. In dietary terms, it refers to the practice of dispensing with all animal products, including meat, fish, poultry, eggs, animal milk, honey, and their derivatives.
The word “vegan” specifically implies moral concern for animals. Therefore the word vegan extends to more than just diet. Vegans don’t wear fur, wool, leather, or silk and are against zoos, circuses, rodeos. They are also against animal testing and any other industry that exploits or abuses animals.
But it doesn’t necessarily mean that vegans eat lots of whole foods plant-based meals. Vegans could get through life eating processed vegetables and fruits. For example, potato chips, (vegan-friendly) gummy candy, and even cookies are vegan.
Plant based diet
On the other hand, a whole foods plant-based diet focus on eating whole fruits and vegetables, consuming lots of whole grains for health reasons. That means that vegan desserts with refined sugar, bleached flour is not plant-based although it is prepared by plants ingredients. A plant-based diet does not restrict their purchase of leather goods.
So, plant based diet doesn’t include refined foods such as all-purpose flour, sugar, oil, and junk foods like pretzels and chips. These foods aren’t “plant-based foods” even though they technically come from plants and do not contain animal products.
Plant-based foods are fruits, vegetables, tubers (e.g. potatoes), leafy greens, nuts (e.g. cashews, almonds), seeds (e.g. flax seeds), sea vegetables (e.g. seaweed), legumes (e.g. beans, peanuts), and grains. Mushrooms and yeast are also plant-based foods.
A plant based diet doesn’t mean eating only raw vegetables, fruits, and plants. This diet includes minimally processed plant foods. For example, guacamole is plant food that is minimally processed or prepared. Hummus, applesauce, salsa, peanut butter, oatmeal, and vegetable broth are other examples.
Condiments such as mustard, hot sauce, vinegar, and soy sauce are also generally accepted as within the scope of “minimally processed”.
Corn tortillas, whole-grain bread (e.g. whole-wheat bread), and pasta (e.g. whole-wheat spaghetti or brown rice noodles) are slightly more processed than guacamole, hummus, etc., but they are still generally accepted within the definition of “plant foods” and are included by most people following a “plant based diet.”
So, there are no strict guidelines or definitions for what constitutes a whole foods plant based diet other than emphasizing on eating lots of fresh produce and minimally processed foods.