A plant based lifestyle extends beyond dietary changes. While a whole food plant based (WFPB) diet is incredibly beneficial for promoting health, it is not the only component of a healthy lifestyle.
In this article, you will learn about the three pillars of a plant based lifestyle:
The first pillar of a plant based lifestyle is a WFPB diet. This way of eating promotes the consumption of whole plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
Before going any further, it is important to define certain phrases that are commonly used in the plant based community.
A vegan diet focuses on the avoidance of all animal products, including meat, eggs, and dairy. Vegans might choose to avoid animal products for a variety of reasons, including concerns for their health, for animals, or for the environment.
As the term "plant based" has risen in popularity, it has taken on various meanings. For some, a plant based diet completely excludes animal foods and is synonymous with a vegan diet. For others, a plant based diet emphasizes whole plant foods while allowing a small amount of animal products.
For the purposes of this article and this website, a plant based diet is synonymous with a whole food plant based diet, which includes plant foods that are unrefined or minimally processed.
A healthful plant based diet centers on five foundational foods:
Whole plant foods offer an array of health benefits. Research has consistently demonstrated three key findings:
Learn more about these Plant Based Diet Benefits!
Physical activity is the second pillar of a plant based lifestyle.
To promote optimal health, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults:
A combination of aerobic exercise and resistance exercise provides significant health benefits, including a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
The third pillar of a plant based lifestyle is recharging, which refers to a broad category including sleep and stress management.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get an average of seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
In addition to getting a good night's sleep, it is vital to properly manage stress levels.
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