Not all Plant-Based Foods are Created Equal


By Melissa Kluczynski, MS


Plant-based foods have been shown to reduce the risk of chronic disease including cancer, diabetes and heart disease. But did you know that not all plant-based foods are healthy? Plant-based foods can be divided into two types: whole and processed.


Whole plant-based foods are those that use whole, fresh ingredients such as fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains.


Processed plant-based foods, on the other hand, have been altered in some way and usually have added preservatives, flavors, salt, sugars, and fats. Processed plant-based foods tend to be lower in nutritional value and higher in salt, sugar and fat content such as fries, chips, and refined breads and pastas. Thus, minimizing the amount of processed foods you eat or avoiding them altogether is recommended for maintaining a healthy diet.


A diet rich in whole plant-based foods has been shown to be effective for managing a healthy weight and decreasing the risk of chronic disease and cognitive decline.


Sources:

Plant Based Utah-

https://www.plantbasedutah.org/blog/2020/3/12/whole-plant-foods-vs-processed-plant-foods

One Green Planet-

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/choosing-whole-foods-over-processed-foods/

Image Source: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/which-foods-dont-belong-in-a-healthy-diet

 

Melissa Kluczynski holds a Master of Science degree in Epidemiology from the University at Buffalo and she is currently working as a Research Associate in the Department of Cancer Prevention and Control at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, NY. Her research interests include chronic disease prevention and women's health.



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