If you want to improve your health, reclaim your naturally balanced weight, increase energy and focus…all of this is possible with a whole food plant-based diet. Whole food being the important factor. This means buying and consuming foods that have five ingredients or less. Yes, you read right. Check your cupboard, your fridge, your desk drawer at work. How do your plant-based food choices stack up?
Choosing a vegan hot dog doesn’t make hot dogs healthy. They never were. It is healthier for the animals, of course. And reportedly healthier for the environment. But fake meat should not be the primary source of protein in a nutritionally sound, plant-based diet.
A healthier goal is to get off the meats and cheeses and eat more plants, for real. Vegetables, fruits, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, nuts.
A food product can be labeled vegan, the ingredients all free of animal-derived components and yet be about the unhealthiest thing you could eat. Oreo cookies are a good example of vegan junk food. Oreos are plant-based!
The common argument for faux meats is that they are a “transitional” food for those new to meat-free eating. After conducting my own personal studies over the course of the past nine years, I have come to the conclusion that they do nothing to ease the transition to a healthy, whole foods diet.
What they actually do is become an obstacle to healthier whole-food protein choices such as beans, legumes and potatoes. Because they taste so good! And as technology moves on, they just keep tasting better and better. These products are highly processed, high in fat and salt in most cases–manipulating our taste buds with artificially engineered flavors. Consequently, simple natural foods taste dull in comparison.
There are really no shortcuts to better health. There are no super foods. Sustainable health is attained by a lifestyle balance between the foods we eat and the way we treat our bodies and minds every day.
Should we never eat faux meats? Do I sometimes eat them? Absolutely. Most dieticians and nutritionists agree that a ratio of 80% natural, whole foods to 20% “discretionary” foods is a good balance for sustainable health. That’s what I’m shooting for. One day at a time. One meal at a time.