While many folks transition to a vegan diet for ethical or environmental reasons, others learn how a plant based diet can prevent and reverse diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer. Learning about all the ways that a vegan diet impacts your health, animals, and the environment is a recipe for long-term success.
Statistically speaking, eating a whole foods plant based diet will result in lower Body Mass Index (BMI) when compared to omnivores and vegetarians. But, if you find yourself not losing weight and would like to, here’s some suggestions to help.
Firstly, when you think of your food, think of the value it will provide. Let’s compare food to money. You want to get more value for your dollar by investing your dollar into an account that pays back in case you’re sick, disabled, or walk out of life, in which case your legacy will passed down. The alternative is investing your dollar into an IRA or savings account that won’t give you the same returns.
Foods that are more valuable to you are higher in fiber and water and lower in energy density. Higher fat foods like bacon, cheese, dairy, chicken, cows, etc are higher in energy density and low in fiber and water. A bagel is medium in energy density and a fruit has the lowest energy density and is the highest in water and fruit. Other valuable foods are vegetables, beans, legumes, tubers, and grains. Grains are a concern for those with Celiac Disease. Ask your doctor to test you if you think you have grain sensitivity, but if not, grains aren’t an issue and provide the satiety and variety while being low in energy density and high in fiber. Dr. Greger of “How Not to Die” illustrates this in his video, “Eating more to Weigh Less.” While foods like starches are often vilified, it’s really the dietary fat that is holding people back from reaching their leaner figures. Dr. John McDougall famously says, “The fat you eat is the fat you wear.”
What about hidden dangers like oil? Olive oil is the most caloric food on the planet and as Dr. Pam Popper of “Food over Medicine” explains, eating three tablespoons of olive oil a day is equal to 3,600 calories which will result in a gain of 3 pounds per month or 36 pounds in a year!
Nuts are higher in calories and it’s easy to get carried away eating so many because of the convenience in packaging. But, if you find yourself eating handfuls of nuts daily and weight loss is halted, the nuts may be a food to consider cutting back on. Instead, fuel yourself throughout the day with fruit or raw vegetables.
Eating a whole foods plant based diet is very easy once you figure it out. Get the most value that you can for your food and remember to invest in your health and wealth account daily!