Vegetarian, Vegan, or WFPB? Everything You Need To Know.
Are you wondering what a WFPB diet is? Or probably you are confused among WFPB, also known as Whole-food plant-based, vegan and vegetarian diets. Since all these diets are plant-based, what are the differences?
After extensive research, we have curated exciting facts and figures about all you need to know regarding these diets and how they might boost your health. So without further ado, let's get started.
What is a Vegetarian diet?
Starting with the vegetarian diet. It is a less challenging one. A vegetarian diet involves refraining from eating meat, fish, and poultry. However, a vegetarian diet includes dairy products like milk, cheese, and eggs since it doesn't involve slaughtering animals. People might opt for a vegetarian diet for religious, health, and environmental reasons.
A vegetarian diet can be seen as transitioning to a vegan diet since they are appalled to learn that meat production is unsustainable, and commercializing animals has been torturous.
What is a Vegan diet?
A vegan diet follows a fairly strict version of a plant-based diet. Vegan food groups do not include animal products, including meat and dairy products like egg, milk, and cheese. Since they entirely eliminate those products, vegans have been quite creative when it comes to food and vegan cuisine, for example:
- Fortified milk alternative, like Oatly Milk.
- Plant-based meat, like Beyond Meat and Impossible Food.
- Dairy-free cheese such as violife, Go Veggie, and Daiya.
- Beeless honey including MeliBio, Vegan Honea.
Even though a vegan diet has eliminated all animal-derived and dairy products, health and nutrition issue has always been a concern. And yet, a balanced vegan diet has various health benefits associated with it. According to one statistic, up to 32% of vegans with the highest plant-based consumption were found to have lower heart risks. Vegans are among the fastest-growing societies in recent years. As of January 2021, there are approximately 79 million vegans in the world.
What is a WFPB?
There is no clear definition for the WFPB diet. However, it places particular emphasis on whole and less processed foods, which means that foods that are close to their natural state. For example, brown rice over white rice since the latter is highly processed. While it avoids heavily processed food, what about snacks or cookies? Similar to rice, you can go for vegan WFPB cookies rather than highly processed cookies. Here's a simple WFBP cookie recipe: 3 Ingredients Banana Oatmeal Cookies.
Moreover, with WFPB diets, you can choose whether you want to eat animal products or not. Diet enthusiasts tend to eat less meat, but they might not completely eliminate it, and increase the intake of plant-based food. WFPB is similar to vegan or vegetarian diets in some ways but allows flexibility.
Shopping List for WFPB
The shopping list for the WFPB diet can be divided into five major nutrient groups. Let's have a look at what would a whole-food, plant-based diet look like:
- Carbohydrates: starchy veggies like potatoes and sweet potatoes, butternut squash
- Healthy Fats: Avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, unsweetened coconut, etc.
- Vegetables: Kale, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, asparagus, peppers, etc.
- Proteins: Tofu, tempeh, plant-based protein sources, or powders with no added sugar or artificial ingredients.
- Whole grains: Brown rice, rolled oats, farro, quinoa, brown rice pasta, barley, etc.
Some Key Health Benefits of WFPB Diet
Here are various health benefits related to the above plant-based diets which will improve your health and motivate you to start them now:
- Low cholesterol: They lower cholesterol levels in your blood which in turn reduces the risks of heart diseases.
- Prevent cognitive diseases: Leafty food may also mitigate cognitive decline and reduce the risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease.
- Lower cancer chances: Plant-based diets might reduce cancer chances like gastrointestinal cancers and colon cancers.
- Control diabetes: Blood sugar levels are controlled easily, since less processed food tends to have a lower GI value, reducing the risks of diabetes.
The Bottom Line
Whole Food, Plant-based diets avoid refined, minimize the portion of meat and increase the consumption of vegetables and plant-based foods. It is more flexible compared to vegan diets, yet more strict compared to vegetarian diets. It brings several health benefits to us, including reducing the risk of getting heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.