whole food plant based for better health
July 18, 2018
If you are considering adopting a whole food plant based lifestyle, you have some questions to ask yourself.
What are your goals? What's your motivation? What do you care about? What changes do you want to make?
I have learned that it's not really about what you do, it's your motive and purpose behind doing it that makes for long lasting change. For example, if you go on a diet to lose a few pounds, when the pounds have been lost and the diet ends, you will gain that weight back eventually. But let's say you adopt a whole food plant based lifestyle with the intention of preventing disease, managing chronic issues, becoming a healthier you etc., sure weight loss may be a side effect of eating clean, but the motivation and purpose is to live a healthy and wholesome life.
There are many different reasons people decide to switch to and remain on a whole food plant based lifestyle.
- General overall health
- It's more sustainable for the planet
- There's less (if any) effect on the health and welfare of animals
- Prevention and reversal of many debilitating ailments
- Meeting healthy weight goals (loss or gain)
- If done with care it is perfectly nutritionally adequate
- Lowering inflammation in the body, leading to less instances of acne and pain
- Better gut and digestive health due to higher fiber intake
- More energy and less feelings of being sluggish and fatigued
Personally, I have chosen to adopt this lifestyle because of the health benefits, both for now and the future.
The World Health Organization's website states that over 17 million people die each year from cardiovascular disease (that's 31% of all deaths worldwide). According to the Center for Disease Control, over 30 million people in the United States are living with diabetes, that's more than 9% of our population. They project that one in three people will be diabetic by year 2050. The CDC's website states that in 2015-2016 almost 40% of U.S. adults were considered obese, that's over 93 million people nationwide.
Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and a group of researchers led a whole plant nutrition intervention study in participants with heart disease. They found they were able to drastically reduce the amount of major cardiac events and even reverse heart disease. There are also studies that show a balanced whole plant food diet can reverse morbid obesity. Even people with diabetes are able to drastically reduce their need to take insulin or medications after just a few weeks of a whole plant food diet intervention.
A whole plant food diet can be better than modern medicine in the way of actually preventing and reversing the disease. Medications treat the symptoms, but rarely the root cause. Our bodies were made to heal themselves, we just need to give them a chance. Start replacing foods that are detrimental to our health with beneficial whole plant foods that allow our bodies to heal.
Some would say that making this kind of change is extreme, but I personally believe open heart surgery is extreme; being on blood pressure or cholesterol lowering medication for the rest of your life is extreme. The amount of suffering animals go through just to provide us with unhealthful food products is extreme. The damage the agricultural industry is doing on our planets soil and air is extreme. But it's your choice. Make an educated decision.
So whatever your goals or motivation - for the health and wellbeing of your body, of the animals, or the planet - a whole food plant based lifestyle is a personal choice that each individual should make for themselves. You cannot make this choice for someone else, whether to please them or to change them - the obvious exception is parents, you feed your children based on your best educated choices.
I think the world would be a better and healthier place if everyone switched to a whole food plant based diet (or at least mostly), but I am obviously biased. I have an opinion, so do you, and that's OK.