If you’ve decided to go vegan for your health, then it’s important to take a whole food, plant-based (WFPB) approach.
What’s the difference between a vegan approach and a WFPB approach?
A vegan diet is defined by what we leave off of our plates, and leading a vegan lifestyle means living in a way that causes the least amount of harm to others. To that end, we can still eat processed, high-fat, high-sugar, and high-sodium foods on a vegan diet just as long as they don’t contain any animal products. But while vegan junk food is often delicious and a great alternative to eating animal-based foods, particularly with consideration to animals and our planet, it isn’t the key to optimum health.
“Junk food” is a comprehensive term that encompasses anything that adds calories, fat and/or sugar to our diet with few nutrients to back it up.
If your health is important to you, then what you put IN to your diet should be just as important as what you leave OUT. For example, switching out dairy ice cream for non-dairy ice cream is a great idea, but switching it out for homemade frozen banana soft-serve (i.e. something that contains real fruit and no added sugar or artificial ingredients) is an even better one.
Now don’t get us wrong! We love french fries, vegan donuts and faux-meat burgers as much as the next person, but these types of foods – just like any other fatty, sugary, or processed foods – should be eaten in moderation. And if you’re someone who wishes to lose a significant amount of weight, or to manage a chronic condition through what you eat, then doctors don’t recommend eating these types of foods at all.
Don’t be dismayed!
While the thought of giving up the foods you love can be scary and unappetizing, in reality and with the right guidance, it’s not all that hard to do, and much like when learning to run, swim, or ride a bike: once you get the hang of it, you’ll surprise yourself and start to enjoy it.
Furthermore, there are countless resources out there to guide you along your WFPB journey, including books, documentaries, and thousands of free online recipes. Throughout this Health & Nutrition Guide, we’ll guide you to the best and most reliable resources. We’ll also tell you what you need to know about WFPB nutrition if you happen to be living with or facing a serious chronic illness.
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