Nutritionally speaking, if eating a vegan diet is a steamy kiss, then eating a Whole Food Plant Based diet is an exploding orgasm, followed by eating a perfectly ripe peach and then taking a catnap in the sun.
If the Vegan diet is having a friend you can laugh with, the Whole Food Plant Based diet is having a friend you can fart with.
If the Vegan diet is a two week vacation from the job that you hate, then the Whole Food Plant Based diet is telling your boss to fuck off, quitting your job, starting your own business and making a shit ton of money.
If the Vegan diet is listening to the WTF podcast, then the Whole Food Plant Based diet is being interviewed by Marc Maron in his garage. (#lifegoals #bucketlist)
There are lots of reasons why eating a Whole Food Plant Based diet (WFPB or Plant Based for short) is the most rock star way of healthy eating. One of the reasons for this is because people who stick to a WFPB diet don’t consume processed oil.
People tend to get their panties in a twist over this. The no meat thing makes sense, the no dairy and no processed food bit is understandable, but the moment olive oil and, god-for-fucking-bid, coconut oil are taken out of the picture, people start to panic and wonder what the hell kind of cult they’ve joined.
And I get it, avoiding oil does seem pretty damn granola-ish, even for the Birkenstock wearing, VW bus driving, patchouli-smelling types.
When people are new to eating cucumber rounds instead of potato chips, beans instead of chicken, quinoa instead of white rice, and fruit instead of M&M’s, going one day without cheese is triumph enough – fuck trying to figure out how to avoid olive oil.
And there’s not a damn thing wrong with that. Everyone is on their own food journey.
It might take 6 months of eating Vegan hot dogs, Vegan cheese and Vegan ice cream before you feel comfortable having the majority of your meals made from ingredients found in the produce section.
It might take a year of thinking about cutting meat and dairy out of the diet before you take the plunge.
You might eat like a goddamn rabbit most of the time, but chocolate and wine are a different story and you’re not about to fuck with that story. That story is good for now.
It could be that you eat a plant rich diet and it never even occurred to you to cook without oil.
Wherever you’re at on your food journey is exactly where you’re supposed to be.
Just like anything in life, mastering the art of healthy eating is a series of piqued curiosity, experimentation, failing, learning, adapting and tweaking until it’s part of your routine and it fits you like your favorite pair of jeans. (The ones that make your butt look super hot)
When you’re ready to take your healthy eating to the next level, removing oil is the next thing to experiment with. Trust me, taking oil off from your shopping list is less of a cult thing and more of a genius move in your healthy eating journey.
(this is way less complicated than putting together IKEA furniture – I promise)
The Whole Food Plant Based diet focuses on whole plant foods in their natural state or as close to their natural state as possible. The reason for this isn’t because plant based munchers are following a command given from our leader, Zelda, High Priestess of Chia.
The reason for this is because these are the foods that keep the body healthy, lean, energized and free of illness and disease, as much as any food can.
Whole plant foods boost the immune system, they have anti inflammatory power, and they supply the body with huge amounts of antioxidants. It’s the chemical structure that make up whole plant foods that offer such powerful protection against harmful substances that cause cell damage.
So the reason why oil isn’t included in the WFPB diet is because all oil, even olive oil and coconut oil, are considered highly processed foods.
And this is because during the process of turning a whole plant food into oil form, for example olives into olive oil, the original structure of the plant is compromised and what’s left is a nutrient void, high fat, calorie dense ingredient with zero fiber and hardly a trace of the beneficial nutrients from the original whole plant food.
All oil is 100% fat and contains 120 calories and 14 grams of fat per tablespoon. That adds up fast, and since oil has zero fiber, the body absorbs it quickly and it is immediately converted into body fat.
As a rule, I don’t focus on the nutritional breakdown of calories, fat, carbohydrates, etc… of food because those numbers don’t tell the whole story of how nutritious a food is.
But I want to give a solid example of how nutrients and the structure of food changes, the more processed a food becomes, so today I will break my rule.
Let’s work this out with an example and take a look at sesame seeds.
1/4 cup of sesame seeds has:
18 grams of fat
6.3 grams of fiber
6.3 grams of protein
And is rich in vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.
Now let’s look at 1/4 cup of sesame oil.
1/4 cup of sesame oil has:
54.5 grams of fat
0 grams of fiber
0 grams of protein
And most of the original vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals are removed during the process of turning sesame seeds into sesame oil.
So eating sesame seeds is more beneficial for your beautiful bod than eating sesame oil, not only because they have a lighter fat and calorie load, but because sesame seeds have fiber, protein and lots of other nutrients – none of which can be said for sesame oil.
But hold the sesame boat, where does tahini (ground up sesame seeds) fit into all of this?
I’m glad you asked, Molly!
Tahini is considered a minimally processed food, and is A-okay to incorporate into the WFPB diet. This is because the nutrients and the fiber from the sesame seeds haven’t been lost in the process of grinding sesame seeds into sesame paste.
Let’s take a looksee.
1/4 cup of tahini has:
32 grams of fat
5.6 grams of fiber
10.2 grams of protein (almost twice as much protein as the same amount of whole sesame seeds)
And unlike sesame oil, tahini is rich in the original vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals from the sesame seeds.
So, if you are ready and pumped to eat for your health, and especially if you want to lose weight, it’s important to eat the whole plant food instead of the oil version of that food. Eat olives instead of olive oil, sesame seeds instead of sesame oil, and coconut instead of coconut oil.
Are we good? Good. If you want to see for yourself how yummy food without oil is, our weekly Plant Fueled Meal Plans never have a drop of oil.
Today’s recipe is simple, fast, hearty and yum. It’s almost as good as telling your boss to fuck off.
- Sprouted bread toasted
- Sunflower seeds
- Chia seeds
- Dried dates chopped
- Banana slices
- Toasted Coconut
- Small squeeze of lemon
Toast your bread and then pile on the toppings.
Add as much as you like of each ingredient and skip an ingredient if you don’t like it.
Perfect for breakfast or a snack anytime during the day.
I hope that you have a happy week. May you look after your body as well as you look after your phone.