Do you follow the government healthy eating guidelines? Are you still overweight and sick? Here are some better guidelines that are based on science and not on pressure from food industry lobbyists.
It is important to know how to eat healthy foods. A healthy diet is necessary for our physical and mental well being. A good diet must give us the nutrients we need for energy and cell repair. On the ideal diet, we should be able to eat until we are satisfied and maintain a healthy weight without dieting.
Elaine French, article author and co owner of Vegan Weight Loss
Does this ideal diet exist? Yes! The ideal diet is a special kind of vegan diet.
What is a vegan diet and what is a vegan? A vegan is a type of vegetarian that eats only plant foods: no flesh foods, eggs or dairy products. Vegans eat this way out of compassion for animals, so they also try to avoid other animal products like leather, wool, silk, and honey.
Some vegans have little interest in the health aspects of their diet. They may live on fried foods, highly-processed meat substitutes, sodas, and vegan sweets. These vegans develop the same health problems as do many meat-eaters.
However, research in recent years indicates that the very best diet for health is another type of vegan diet: a meal plan based on unprocessed plant foods.
People who follow this type of vegan diet but who still use leather, silk, and other animal products are called pure vegetarians rather than vegans.
The important research study that led many people to adopt radically different healthy eating guidelines was the China Study, which the New York Times called "the grand prix of epidemiology." The China Study was a huge project that studied 6500 people in 65 different counties in China. Researchers from Cornell University, Oxford University, and Beijing University designed the study and analyzed the massive amount of data it produced.
The China Study found that for optimum health, there was no safe level of animal food intake. People who ate small amounts of animal foods had higher rates of disease than people who ate none. Dr. T. Colin Campbell, the lead researcher from Cornell, also concluded that it was not just animal fat and cholesterol that led to health problems, but animal protein as well. In Dr. Campbell's other research, he also found significant links between cows milk protein and cancer growth.
The vegan healthy eating guide is built around vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains. A few raw nuts and seeds also contribute to good health.
The plant foods we eat should be unrefined and only lightly processed. Refined foods are foods like white flour, isolated soy protein, sugar, and vegetable oils. The refining process strips away most of the fibre and beneficial nutrients. The resulting products may be plant foods, but they are no longer healthy. Refined foods promote obesity and disease.
Refining is an extreme form of processing. Processed foods can be fairly healthy or extremely bad.
You can recognize a processed food because it no longer looks exactly the way it did when it came out of the garden. An apple is not processed, but applesauce and apple juice are processed foods. Whole wheat berries are not processed, but when you grind them into whole wheat flour, they become processed foods.
Even chopping and cooking food is a type of processing, although these processes are usually not too damaging. The vegan healthy eating guidelines allow for some lightly processed foods.
Looks Good – Curried Rice Salad
Photograph © Copyright E French 2010
Many people worry that they will not get enough protein on a vegan diet. These concerns are fueled by advertisements from the animal food industries. These industries want to make sure we keep buying their products. The truth is if you just eat enough calories from whole plant foods, you will get all the protein you need. For more information, here is a list of great vegan protein sources:
If you want to lose weight and maintain your new weight, you also need to understand the concept of calorie density. This is a measure of how many calories a food contains per weight, such as calories per ounce or calories per gram. It explains why fresh fruit is better for weight loss than dried fruit, and why cooked whole grains are better than whole grain bread. It explains why there are a few unprocessed plant foods that can interfere with weight loss. Examples are raw nuts, avocados, and coconut.
Clinics and spas around the world often use a vegan whole foods diet for weight loss. Beside making you slimmer, it can add years to your life. Many people adopt these healthy eating guidelines to reverse serious health conditions. We have seen hundreds of people lose weight and improve their health on this diet. You will grow to love the meals.
The best part is:
you can eat as much as you want and never be hungry, as long as you eat the right foods.
Expert article By Elaine French from
Vegan Weight Loss
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