Vegan Vs. Whole Food, Plant-Based
What’s the difference between vegan and whole food, plant-based? I get this a lot. I don’t eat anything that comes from an animal, but I don’t call myself a vegan. While veganism is plant-based, it isn’t necessarily healthy. I could eat a bowl of sugar floating in olive oil and it would be vegan. Not advisable, or nutrient-dense, but vegan. The problem here is that olive oil is not a whole food. It’s a concentrated food part stripped of its natural delivery system which means your getting a big dose of fat and little else in terms of micronutrients per calorie.
Choose Nutrient-Dense Foods
Part of my goal is to maximize the nutrient density of the foods I consume. Kale, for instance, is very nutrient-dense. Olive oil is not. Olive oil has nutritive value, mainly in the form of the macro-nutrient fat, but its micro-nutrient content is pretty sparse on a per-calorie basis. Oils are pure fat. As such, they’re extremely calorie-dense. Fat has 9 calories per gram. A tablespoon of olive oil has 120 calories, 0 carbs, 0 protein, and no significant amounts of vitamins or minerals. Compare that to kale, for instance, which has 33 calories per cup, 2.2 grams of protein, 1.3 grams of fiber, and too many micronutrients to list.
The point I’m trying to make here is that the more nutrients you’re able to consume per calorie, the healthier you’ll be. Provide your body with the right foods and you’ll unlock its amazing ability to function properly and heal itself. I’ve experienced this first-hand, and it can happen very rapidly. There is a lot of evidence to support a whole food, plant-based lifestyle. I’m not going to go into scientific detail because there are quite a few people out there, much more qualified than me, already doing that. I’m just hoping to make you think, and push you in the right direction. The information is available. You just have to see past all of the food industry propaganda intended to sow doubt, and the latest fad diets. A great place to start is my reading list. You may be skeptical, but keep in mind: there aren’t a whole lot of multinational broccoli conglomerates out there paying for fake studies that “prove” their foods are nutritious.