The Fuss Around Whole Food Plant Based (WFPB) Diets

The term 'whole' in WFPB describes foods that are minimally processed. The term WFPB simply refers to a return to whole foods, rich flavors, and natural health.

Sheela Krishnaswamy
Sheela Krishnaswamy
Sheela Krishnaswamy is a Registered Dietitian with 38 years of professional experience in the clinical, corporate and communication spaces. She was trained in India and overseas. She is active in national and international dietetic associations. She has had a media presence for the last 25 years. Formerly, a successful nutrition entrepreneur, an editor, a public speaker and a blogger, currently she works independently as Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, Advisor, Anchor, Writer and Corporate Trainer.

Last Updated on June 9, 2022 by Neelam Singh

Whole food plant-based diets are becoming popular globally. While many of them do it for personal health reasons, planet health is a concern for others. 

WFPB diets, as they are commonly referred to, are slightly different from vegan diets. Vegan diets refrain completely from animal foods (including dairy). WFPB diets on the other hand, exclude animal foods and also do not use any food that is highly processed. So, there’s no room for oils and ultra-processed foods in a WFPB diet plan. 

“WFPB is not a ‘fad diet’ or a ‘trend’ but a lifestyle.  It’s an eating pattern that focuses on consuming foods that are processed minimally and are plant centric” says, Dr Sheela Nambiar, Lifestyle Medicine Physician and ObGyn, practicing in Ooty.

Foods that are included in a WFPB diet are vegetables, fruits, whole grains, pulses, dals, nuts and seeds.  Consumption of these foods and avoidance of high fat, high sugar, high cholesterol foods would help in weight management, blood glucose control, reduction in cardiovascular disease risk factors and so on. According to Dr Nambiar, this kind of eating pattern is beneficial because it’s anti-inflammatory. “A WFPB diet can help to prevent and manage chronic conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, hypertension, depression and also improves gut health. A healthy microbiome is essential for everything from weight to mental health”, adds Dr Nambiar, who teaches her patients and clients to eat a WFPB diet by helping them to transition to a healthier way of eating through small and gradual changes. 

If you opt for a WFPB eating pattern, choose your foods wisely, or better still, get expert guidance from a qualified dietitian.

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