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The Benefits of a Plant-Based Whole Food Diet for Health and Wellness

A plant-based whole food diet is a way of eating that focuses on fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes while excluding all animal-based foods, including chicken, fish, dairy products, eggs, and highly refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil. An animal-based diet consists of food items that come from an animal source, such as meat, milk, eggs, cheese, and yogurt.

Dairy products are not necessary for bone growth and development, and in fact, they can increase the risk of various autoimmune diseases, diabetes, prostate cancer, and breast cancer. Animal-based foods lack fiber, while whole plant foods are rich in fiber, which regulates nutrients in the body.

Dietary protein plays a crucial role in the prevention and cure of various metabolic dysfunctions. A systematic review comparing the effects of plant and animal-based dietary proteins on metabolic dysfunctions shows that soy protein consumption, with isoflavones, or other plant proteins like pea and lupine proteins, wheat gluten, etc., decreases 3% of both total and LDL cholesterol compared to animal protein consumption in patients with high fasting cholesterol concentration. Soy protein with isoflavones may prevent risk factors associated with cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. A proper combination of plant-based diets is helpful in preventing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases due to obesity. A reduction in animal-based food over plant-based has shown positive results in cancer patients.

Animal-based food increases the risk of chronic conditions like coronary artery disease and diabetes due to excess protein content, which increases carcinogenic activity. The recommended dietary allowance for protein is 10% of calories, which tends to double when consuming animal-based food. The National Kidney Foundation recommends a vegetarian diet for chronic kidney disease patients because plant protein has positive effects on blood pressure, proteinuria, and glomerular filtration rate and reduces renal tissue damage compared to animal proteins.

Refined foods lack fiber, vitamins, and minerals and get converted to sugar after digestion, increasing the risk of insulin resistance, colon cancer, vascular diseases, and weight gain. Nutrient-dense, plant-rich dietary patterns are effective at preventing and improving various chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular diseases.

A plant-based whole food diet improves plasma lipids, diabetes control, coronary artery disease, and lower risks of cancer while helping to reduce weight. It is rich in potassium content, which helps lower blood pressure levels and decreases cortisol levels that cause stress. It is the simplest way to balance cholesterol levels, controls blood sugar by reducing sugar absorption in the bloodstream, and thereby controls excessive hunger during the whole day.

Changing habits is difficult but not impossible, demanding commitment, willingness, planning, and discipline. A plant-based whole food diet is not just a weight loss plan but a lifestyle that promotes better health. It does not have to be boring, and experimenting with different foods can make it enjoyable.


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