Whole Food, Plant-Based

This diet promotes the consumption of whole (unprocessed) food and plant-based food (grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits), and eliminates all sources of fish and meat, dairies, any extra fat (i.e. all oils) and nuts. Processed food loaded with simple sugars, including white bread, white pasta, candies, etc. are also out.

The foundation of this diet is three-fold:

  • Consuming whole food provides a vast array of nutrients (including enough proteins and essential fat), as opposed to processed food which are often deprived from healthy nutrients and loaded with others that add no nutrition value. In particular, simple sugars are totally avoided and replaced by complex sugars, which greatly helps regulating the release of glucose in the blood stream.
  • By substantially reducing the intake of fat, multiple diseases, especially cardio-vascular diseases, are prevented and if present, the progression of those diseases can be stopped and in some cases, reversed;
  • Avoiding casein (a protein found in cow’s milk) greatly reduces the risk of cancer and other diseases. Casein is believed to be linked to the development of diabetes type 1, which starts in months-old infants who are fed cow’s milk products and/or derivatives (infant formulas).

Studies have shown that this diet is successful at preventing or stopping the development of multiple diseases, but on the other hand, other studies show that the food this diet prohibits (e.g. dairy products, some fat) do not produce any harm and are essential to health. In particular, proponents of this diet ban all oils, including the so-called “heart healthy”, on the ground that despite people consuming those oils having overall fewer heart issues that those who consume other types of oils, their condition still continue to deteriorate, only at a slower pace. Studies have shown that removing all extra oils allows arteries to repair themselves.

Pros:

  • The consumption of complex carbs leads to slower glucose release in the blood stream as opposed to simple sugars that lead to glucose spikes, making this diet suitable for people with type 1 diabetes, because the insulin works at roughly the same rate than the glucose release in the blood stream.
  • People with diabetes type 2 usually regain insulin sensitivity and can gradually reduce, if not eliminate, their medication.
  • Studies show that heart diseases are stopped and in many cases, reversed.
  • Followers of this diet do lose extra weight despite eating plenty (and feel less hungry because of the complex carbs) and reduce their total and LDL cholesterol levels significantly within weeks, avoiding risks of cardio-vascular diseases.
  • People on this diet for long periods of time (years) have overall better health and fewer diseases, including cancer, than the general population.

Cons:

  • Often confused with vegetarian or vegan diets, which can be nutrient-deficient on their own. Those diets (vegetarian and vegan) are also¬†associated with a certain lifestyle that do not fit most people’s interests.
  • Since processed food cannot be taken (because they contain extra oils or meat), high-quality raw food must be purchased and cooked, but many people do not have the time nor the motivation for that.
  • A large variety of food is required to prevent the deficiency of some vitamins and amino-acids. Supplements might be needed to avoid those deficiencies.
  • For some, this diet does not fit the pre-conceived ideas that meat proteins and milk calcium must be a significant part of the diet.
  • The eating changes required to follow this diet (no meat, no dairy, no oil, no nuts) are a significant departure from the traditional Western diet and too radical for many.

Sources:
http://www.thechinastudy.com/
http://www.heartattackproof.com/

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