According to the CDC, 1/3 of adults over the age of 20 are obese, 1/13 has diabetes and 33% of Americans die from heart disease. Did you know that you can reduce you can reduce your risk of chronic disease by adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet? Eating whole foods can reduce and reverse chronic diseases.
Whole foods are naturally low calorie and calorie dense, these foods (whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits) are full of antioxidants and phytonutrients that promote health, manage weight, boost energy and improve your quality of life.
You can improve your health by choosing to eat more whole, unprocessed foods.
What is a plant-based, whole food diet?
A plant-based diet is a diet that consists of whole, plant-based foods. Despite popular belief, you do not have to be a vegetarian or vegan to eat a plant based diet. Meat is optional, but it is not the entrée, it’s more of a side dish. Think of it as switching the meat to the side (or off the plate altogether) and the vegetables, whole grains and legumes are front-and-center.
Benefits of a plant-based diet
According to an article in the Permanente Journal, plant-based diets may lower body mass index, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Research has shown that vegetarians consume fewer calories than their meat-eating counterparts. Following a plant-based diet doesn’t necessarily mean cutting out meat altogether, but choosing fruits, veggies and whole grains as the larger portion of your meal. A plant-based diet can also detoxify the body of pollutants, such as dietary antibiotics, industrial toxins, mercury and other heavy metals and hormones found in fish and other meats. A natural detox may reboot your metabolism to help you lose weight faster.
Eating a diet high in vegetables and fruit will naturally increase your fiber intake, thereby improving your digestion. Plus, it may lower your cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Did you know that just one cup of raspberries has 8+ grams of fiber? A plant-based diet with little to no meat may improve insulin sensitivity and decrease insulin resistance.
High blood pressure or hypertension
High blood pressure can put you at a higher risk for heart disease and stroke, the two leading causes of death in the United States. The Harvard School of Public Health suggests that a diet filled with fruits and veggies can lower blood pressure. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is often recommended for those with hypertension. It focuses on reducing sodium and meat intake while increasing your consumption of fruits and vegetables. It suggests you should only eat 5 oz. of protein-based foods daily, having no more than 26 oz. of meat, poultry, and eggs each week.
People who eat on average 8+ servings of fruits and veggies a day are 30% less likely to have a heart attack or stroke. Many meat and animal products contain saturated fats, which are typically solid at room temperature. According to medical experts at the American Heart Association (AHA), eating saturated fats can increase your cholesterol, which in turn increases your risk for heart disease and stroke. The AHA recommends that people on a 2,000-calorie diet have only about 13 grams of saturated fat per day.
Nutrients: Low calorie – nutrient dense
Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, plant sterols, phytochemicals, and potassium. Potassium helps reduce the effects of sodium, which is known to raise blood pressure.
Meat is not cheap! By cutting out meats or at the very least, limiting them, you may find you have more money than you expected in your grocery budget at the end of the month. Shopping at local markets and sticking to seasonal fruits and vegetables can help bring costs down.
Adopting a plant-based diet has many health benefits. It may reduce your risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure. Beyond that, it may help reduce the number of medications you are taking for chronic conditions. Are you struggling with your health? Are you ready to improve your health and your weight? You have the power to change your health, your future. It all starts with food
If you want to have more energy, improve your health and manage your weight without dieting, come and join me for The 14 Day Whole Food Challenge. The main goal of this challenge is to help you add more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes into your eating plan.
The 14 Day Whole Food Challenge is made up of simple, budget-friendly recipes that will help you add more whole, unprocessed foods to your diet.