Let's take a closer look at what makes a diet Whole Food Plant Based.
So, what does a Whole Food Plant Based Diet really mean?!?!
According to Dr. T. Colin Campbell who coined the term, a Whole Food Plant Based Diet can be defined as low in protein, low in fat, and rich in plant-based food-in their whole food form. With this definition a vegan (no animal products), vegetarian (includes eggs and dairy), and a Mediterranean diet (includes eggs, dairy, & a small portion of meat/seafood) could all technically be considered following a WFPB Diet due to the main components of each diet typically being Whole Plant Foods. Dr. Campbell then takes it a step further by stating that a WFPB Diet excludes all animal products and emphasizes a wide variety of whole plant foods.
I believe a WFPB Diet means eating foods as close to their natural state as possible. This includes whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (beans & lentils), nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices and excluding all animal products.
I would also like to take it a step further and include minimally processed foods with clean pronounceable ingredients can also successfully be included in a WFPB Diet.
For example, I love experimenting with different types of recipes and right now I am enjoying utilizing red lentil pasta. Technically speaking the red lentils are no longer in their recognizable whole food form; however the only ingredient on the pasta that I utilize is Red Lentil Flour.
I have tried just about every diet imaginable. If you have seen the movie Forrest Gump and remember the scene where his friend Bubba is listing off all of the ways that you can eat shrimp, that is exactly how I feel about the array of diets that I have tried.
Cabbage Soup Diet, South Beach Diet, Low Fodmaps Diet, Auto Immune Protocol (AIP) Diet, Keto Diet, Vegan Keto Diet, you name it and I have either tried it or at least thought about trying it. I like to joke that I have been BioHacking well before the term was officially created.
A major break-thru for me came in my mid 20s (around 2007ish) when I stumbled upon the Eat Clean Diet™ book by Tosca Reno. Her story and book were inspiring and relatable as she also went thru phases of yo-yo dieting. Her book and information were invaluable to me because I learned how to read nutritional labels and started to pay attention to the ingredients of the processed foods that I was consuming. I still utilize the concepts that I learned from her books to this day.
If I could describe a WFPB Diet simply, it would be combining the rules/principles of the Eat Clean Diet (whole or minimally processed foods free of refined grains and sugar) with a vegan diet (no animal products). I would like to take it one step further and add that, for me, it also means eating a High Carb/Starch and Low Fat nutritional profile. It took me another 15 years from the discovery of the Eat Clean Diet and playing around with my plate to understand that the High Carb/Starch and Low Fat nutritional profile was more specifically what made my body the happiest.
I truly believe that there is no single diet that works best for everyone. I also believe that any and everyone can benefit from including more whole fruits and vegetables into their daily menu.