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Beginner's Guide to a Whole-Foods, Plant-Based Diet

Updated: Aug 9, 2020

One of the most significant steps that you can take to strengthen your health, prevent chronic disease, manage your weight healthily, and boost your energy levels is to switch to whole foods plant-based nutrition. Changing your diet is a great way to live longer and reduce the risk of developing lifestyle disease.

You're likely thinking that switching to a plant-based diet seems to be a good idea, but you do not know where to begin. Don't worry, we've got the expertise and tools to make the change enjoyable and comfortable. A plant-based health coach is experienced in this area and will help you make sure that your switch to a healthier lifestyle is well-informed and sustainable!

What is a Plant-based diet?

Plant-based nutrition refers to a diet that focuses on foods that are derived from plant sources. These include fruits, grains, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs, beans, and legumes to name a few!

While there are different interpretations of a whole-food, plant-based diet depending on who you ask, one thing is clear. The base of your diet should be plants in their whole, original form. Processed foods and animal-based products are ideally completely excluded from the diet when trying to achieve optimum health.

Benefits of living a plant-based lifestyle

There are several benefits of moving towards a plant-based lifestyle. These benefits include:

Disease prevention

Plant-based diets support your health, including a lower risk of developing coronary heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

A vegan diet offers all the necessary whole foods plant-based protein, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins for optimal health, and is often higher in phytonutrients and fibre compared to conventional dietary choices. However, it’s worth noting that a plant-based diet doesn’t automatically mean that it's all healthy, particularly when it comes to packaged and processed foods.

Technically, products such as white flour, refined sugar, and some certain vegetable fats can all be labelled ‘plant-based’, but this doesn’t mean they should make up the bulk of a healthy diet. When making a basic plant-based grocery list, consider primarily sourcing whole foods such as:

  • Beans and legumes

  • Seeds, nuts and dried fruits

  • Whole grains

  • Pasta