Plant-based eating consists of eating foods that are derived from plants. This includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains like brown rice and quinoa, legumes like chickpeas and lentils, and much more. Eating whole food plant-based takes this one step further and removes foods that are highly processed and/or contain added oils and sugars, as those would not be considered whole foods. Eating whole food plant-based has been shown to be beneficial to our health. One of the most outstanding findings, and the reason that we teach about the whole foods plant-based lifestyle at CMI, is because of its ability to prevent and even reverse heart disease.
There are so many terms used to describe different dietary choices. Those who eat vegetarian will eat plant-based foods as well as eggs and dairy but avoid meat, fish, and poultry. Those who eat vegan don't eat any food that has come from an animal. Some also don't use personal care or clothing products that were made from an animal or were tested on animals for ethical reasons. Someone who eats plant-based may not necessarily remove all animal protein from their diet, but will focus on having the majority of their meals be centered around plants. What's important is to not get so caught up on the terms, or categorizing yourself into one versus the other. I always tell patients to focus on what's on their plate -- look at filling it up with as many whole plant foods as possible.
Changing your eating habits can be an immediate change! Learning the skills to make healthy decisions is important to seeing results and feeling a difference, but we all have to start somewhere. I've listed out some simple things you can implement to jumpstart your heart health today:
At CMI we have some great stuff going on that you can take advantage of to learn more about the plant-based lifestyle. Check out our events page to see what classes we have coming up, some are even free! You can also read more about the different wellness programs that can set you up on the fast-track to better health.