With all the diets and advice out there, the healthiest eating plan choice you can make is a diet based on whole plant foods. Whole-plants are the basis of the Mediterranean diet; this eating plan also consists of whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, spices, and olive oil. Countless studies demonstrate whole plants are better than animals for the overall health of the body. Plant-based nutrition is linked to the improvement of every major organ system in the body, including the skin.
What Does “Whole” Really Mean?
What are we talking about when we talk about whole plants? Plants that are closest to their natural form after being picked. Oranges are a good example; eating a whole orange is better than orange juice. A whole orange is closest to its full fiber form and digested more slowly than in juice form. Foods that are digested slower are absorbed slowly and cause a low sugar spike. Juicing fruits and vegetables take away some of that natural digestion mechanism, causing them to digest faster. Similarly, foods that are 100 Percent Whole Wheat are better than those labeled just whole grain, multigrain, or 50% whole grain. Examples of 100 whole-wheat foods are a slice of 100 percent whole-wheat bread, a half cup of oatmeal, or a half cup of cooked brown rice. Whole vegetables are an essential part of any sound nutrition plan whether or not it is whole-plant based.
Can I Get My Protein From Plants?
Many people considering a whole-plant diet worry about getting enough protein and becoming protein deficient. The good news is, contrary to popular belief, plants have a lot of proteins, and some experts are starting to believe that not all proteins are considered equal. Smaller amounts of plant proteins may, in fact, be more healthy and more effective in building the body’s tissues and muscles than larger amounts of animal proteins. A growing trend among professional athletes is eating more plant proteins instead of animal proteins because they are recovering quicker from injury. The reason for this is that plant food causes less inflammation than animal foods, allowing the athlete to recover quicker and build muscles more efficiently. As a rule, whole plants are better than fish, and fish is better than animals.
Why Are Processed Carbs Bad?
Why do processed carbohydrates like white foods, white bread, bagels, chips, sugar, and crackers, tend to make us hungrier and fatter? The more the plant is processed the more quickly it is absorbed, causing a sugar spike. The spike affects our brain’s chemical reward system, causing a surge in dopamine, giving us a psychological reward. The excess sugar rush in our bloodstream also causes our body to release extra insulin, a hormone that allows sugar from the bloodstream to go into fat cells. When our bodies cannot use the extra sugar generated by a spike, the insulin takes over, efficiently taking the excess energy and storing it in our fat cells. Once the quick burst of a sugar spike wears off, then we get hungry again, so we eat more and the process repeats itself – leading to weight gain. Eating whole foods triggers the regular digestive process, which gives us a slow amount of energy for our body’s needs and does not require insulin to spike and store such excess energy in fat cells.
What Are The Real Healthy Foods?
The best nutrition is eating foods that are closest to those found growing naturally, with little modification (whole and unchanged as much as possible), fresh and plant-based as much as possible. What is less important is how much fat vs. carbohydrates vs. protein you consume.
What are some of the names of types of plant-based eating that should be the staple of good nutrition: whole vegetable, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Healthy fats from olive oil, avocado oil, and fish are also good. Proteins and fats from animal products such as meats and dairy should be consumed sparingly.