If you’re on a mission to transform your life and take the necessary steps to boost your health and energy, moving to a whole-food, plant-based diet is one of the best ways to go. It’s a delicious way to prevent chronic diseases from developing along with helping manage your weight.
What is a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet?
A whole-food, plant-based diet is all about changing your regimen and leaning towards natural, minimally-processed foods, which generally describes whole-foods.
Plant-based, on the other hand, doesn’t necessarily mean you have to become a vegan or vegetarian. Instead, it’s all about having more proportions of plant sources - from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans.
You can use dairy products or different meats to garnish or support the dish, allowing you to stay healthy while satisfying your gastronomic cravings.
The Foods You Should Avoid or Limit in a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet
Since whole-food describes ingredients that are minimally processed, it’s best to limit or entirely cut off the following from your diet:
- Fast food
- Desserts and sweetened beverages
- Refined grains like white rice, white bread, refined pasta
- Packaged foods like cookies, chips, or sugary cereals
- Processed meats like bacon, sausage, salami, or beef jerky
Keep in mind that a whole-food, plant-based diet doesn’t mean you should avoid meat altogether. Adding lean sources of protein like 90 percent lean ground beef, white-fleshed fish, skinless chicken or turkey, or pork loin.
The Foods You Should Include in a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet
You can explore different ingredients in a whole-food, plant-based diet, which means you don’t have to worry about any restrictions as achieving a flavor-packed meal is more than possible following this regimen. Some of the best foods you can incorporate are the following:
- Fruits - any type like apples, bananas, grapes, strawberries, citrus, and more.
- Vegetables - a mix of leafy greens and more like peppers, corn, avocados, lettuce, spinach, kale, peas, collards, etc.
- Tubers - this describes root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, beets, etc.
- Whole grains - foods that include starch like cereals, quinoa, brown rice, millet, whole wheat, oats, barley, and even popcorn.
- Legumes - this refers to any beans, along with lentils, pulses, and other likely ingredients.
Of course, you can also include coffee and tea, along with whole-grain flour and bread, nuts, seeds, tofu, tempeh, or plant-based milk. However, it’s best to eat whole-grain flour dishes in moderation as it can promote weight gain due to its high amount of calories.
Some simple yet delicious whole-food, plant-based recipes that can help get you started on a healthier lifestyle include baked mashed potato fries, zucchini gratin, chickpea mushroom pita burgers, and more.
The Bottom Line
As mentioned above, a whole-food, plant-based diet doesn’t mean you’re limiting yourself to dull food choices. It consists of a colorful arsenal of fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, and lean meats, allowing you to create unique, flavorful dishes that provide nutritious benefits in every bite.
If you’re looking to get started, using supplements and replacement shakes can help you ease into a healthier lifestyle.
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