Monday, September 19, 2011

Six Kinds of Whole Foods Make a Plant-Based Diet Easy

Whole foods, plant-based diets are big news. You have probably heard about this optimal eating plan through best-selling books (for example, The China Study), films such as Forks over Knives, or the CNN documentary The Last Heart Attack. Bill Clinton is not shy about sharing the health and weight benefits he has gained following an eating plan based on vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains. Just about every supermarket has plant milks, such as almond, rice, soy, or coconut milks, not to mention choices such as veggie burgers, whole grain pastas, and fruit sorbet.

Even if you are recognizing the power of a whole foods, plant-based diet, you may still be ambivalent about committing to this eating plan. A routine diet based on animal and processed foods may beckon you with convenience and familiarity. You may be unsure how to upgrade your diet to the optimal level that will protect your health, reverse chronic illness, and get you to your ideal weight.

Eating a wide range of unprocessed plant foods will keep a whole foods, plant-based diet interesting, satisfying, and simple. The Perfect Formula Diet gives you an easy strategy to enjoy six kinds of whole foods. If you are above your optimal weight, you will enjoy permanent, hunger-free weight loss. Regardless of your weight, you will be powerfully protecting your health, even reversing chronic illness and working with your doctor to possibly cut down on medications.

The four pillars of the Perfect Formula Diet are the following categories of whole foods:
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Beans and/or potatoes (combined in any proportion)
  • Whole grains
The plan is to eat one quarter of your food (by volume) from each of these four groups. It’s not necessary to actually measure the food – a rough estimation is fine. The goal is to eat generously from all four groups of whole foods.

Your body will tell you how much to eat in total. You don’t need to count calories or points. Hunger is your body talking to you, and you are well advised to listen.

On the Perfect Formula Diet, you eat when you are moderately hungry and stop when you are full. Your body’s sensors for nutrients and calories, not to mention stomach stretch receptors, are satisfied by whole plant foods. So food cravings fade and you can move on to enjoy other fun things in life.

Arbitrary portion control, used by run-of-the-mill diets, is counterproductive. When you eat less than what you need, your metabolism slows down. Your digestive system becomes ultra-skilled at absorbing all the calories you do eat. So you are set up to fail as soon as you go off a portion-control diet.

Because of these changes in your body, you are likely to quickly regain all the weight you have lost and then some. Plus usual portion control diets encourage you to eat “moderate” amounts of the foods that made you sick and overweight to begin with. Disease reversal is highly unlikely.

Fixed meal times are a manmade, not a natural, idea. Unless you really want to, don’t worry about the clock when deciding to eat on the Perfect Formula Diet. Instead, enjoy “not-meals” for success. You will end up eating the same amount of foods or less in smaller quantities throughout the day. Because you don’t allow yourself to become famished waiting for an arbitrary meal time, your eating is easier to control.
The other two categories of whole foods on the Perfect Formula Diet are:

  • Nuts and seeds
  • Herbs and spices
Do limit your nut and seed intake to one or two handfuls of four to six days a week. This is because nuts, while delicious and packed with nutrients, are also more calorie dense than other whole plant foods are.

Herbs and spices are packed with phytochemicals. These are beneficial nutrients found only in plants. These flavorful seasonings will allow you to enjoy food without salt and will also keep your food tasty, interesting, and varied. You won’t miss animal foods or processed foods once you develop your appreciation for herbs and spices. Be bold in trying new ways to make your food flavorful.

To make sure you get sufficient omega-3 fatty acids, sprinkle two tablespoons of ground flax seed a day on your food. The only supplements you should need, unless your doctor has diagnosed a specific deficiency disease, are Vitamin B12 (made naturally by bacteria) and Vitamin D (ideally made by your skin in sunlight, but available as a supplement if you don’t get enough sun).

Remember, plants are the base of the food chain on our planet. This means that plants are nutrient producers, while animals are nutrient consumers. All the beneficial vitamins, minerals, and proteins in animal foods got there courtesy of the plants the animals ate. Why not skip the animal middleman and enjoy the nutrient source directly. Your body will thank you.

While a change to a whole foods, plant-based diet may seem daunting at first, it gets easier the longer you eat this way. Soon, you will be rejoicing in your health and weight. You will not want to eat any other way. You’ll feel too good on the Perfect Formula Diet as you treasure nature’s finest offerings from farms and fields.

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by Dustin Rudolph, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist

Check out Dustin Rudolph's book The Empty Medicine Cabinet to start your journey towards better health. This step-by-step guide leads you through many of today's common chronic diseases (heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and more), giving you the facts on foods versus medications in treating these medical conditions. The book also contains an easy-to-follow guide on how to adopt a whole foods, plant-based diet as a part of an overall lifestyle change, producing the best possible health outcomes for you and your family. Hurry and get your copy today!

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this great piece! You'll definitely not go wrong when you eat fruit and vegetables!


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