What is A Plant Based Diet

Written by Sheri Goodman Graham

On July 12, 2022
What is A Plant Based Diet

Some people choose a whole food, plant-based diet for ethical reasons.

They care deeply for animals and don’t like the idea of killing animals for food.

Often, they also oppose industries that exploit animals, such as the dairy and egg industries.

Other people choose a whole food, plant-based diet for health reasons.

They seek to prevent, halt, and/or reverse disease so they can live life to the fullest.

To start, let’s go over what a whole food, plant-based diet is not.

What A Whole Food, Plant-based Diet Is Not…

🌱It’s not vegan.

🌱It’s not vegetarian.

🌱It’s not keto or Whole30.

There’s no counting calories or points, weighing your food, pairing certain foods together, or limiting your portion size in an attempt to lose weight.

Nope, no silly and overly complicated rules here.

Believe it or not, it also isn’t strictly vegetables!
What a Whole Food, Plant-Based Diet Includes:

Specifically, a whole food, plant-based diet includes fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, in their whole or minimally processed forms.

Here are some examples of whole plant foods:

Fruit: apples, bananas, oranges, kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, mangoes, lemons, watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, pears, etc.

Vegetables: broccoli, kale, spinach, lettuce, carrots, beets, onions, potatoes, squash, corn, cauliflower, cucumber, asparagus, celery, garlic, collard greens, etc.

Whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat, oats, rye, barley, etc.

Legumes: black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), lima beans, lentils, pinto beans, etc.

Nuts and seeds: raw walnuts, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, cashews, pine nuts, hemp seeds, etc.

What Isn’t Acceptable on a Whole Food, Plant-based Diet

A whole food, plant-based diet excludes all animal food products such as meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy products.

Here are some examples of animal products:

Meat: fish, shellfish, chicken, turkey, pork, beef, bison, etc.

Dairy: milk, cheese, yogurt, cream cheese, heavy cream, butter, etc.



The only exception to the “no animal products” rule is honey.

Honey is generally accepted as an okay sweetener on a whole food, plant-based diet even though it is technically an animal product.

A whole food, plant-based diet also excludes highly processed foods such as bleached flour, white sugar, white rice, and oils.

Here are some examples of highly processed products:

Oils: canola, vegetable, peanut, corn, etc.

Grains: white pasta, white rice, white bread, bleached flour, crackers, etc.

Sweeteners: white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, brown sugar, dextrose, etc.

Prepackaged snacks: cakes, pastries, candy, chips, etc.

Boxed foods: mac and cheese, rice sides, frozen pizza, frozen dinners, etc.

Basically, if it’s prepackaged and has a long ingredient list filled with words you can’t pronounce, it’s probably highly processed.

Even Beyond Meat products like their veggie burgers are considered processed and unhealthy.

Olive oil and coconut oil I consider processed because they take the whole food and strip the nutrition to make the oil. (Eat the whole plant the olive and coconut meat)

Here is a link for a get started shopping list.

With love,

Sheri ❤️

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  1. Victor

    Hello Sherri, glad I discovered your page! Your views on living a whole food plant based lifestyle are simplistic and encouraging. As a professional chef and living this lifestyle has been one of my greatest challenges, being misunderstood as being labeled as strictly “Vegan,” some clients as well, which led me to search for those whose just to be healthy and happy!

    • Sheri Goodman Graham

      Thank you for your message. I will reach out to you directly.

  2. Carletta Jo Rinard

    Sheri, My name is Carletta Rinard. I am 72 and I have dealt with digestive issues for years. I have been diagnosed with chronic gastritis. I drink mainly water, sometimes milk( no more from now on) . It seems like no matter what I eat gasses me up or makes me nauseous. I have also dealt with chronic constipation since I was a baby. I was even diagnosed with a lazy bowel. I weigh 285(more than I have ever weighed). My bodies motility isn’t right either. I had to have a Nissan Surgery in 2010 to repair my esophagus. I am so tired of feeling sick and tired. I’m ready to try the WFPB DIET!

    • Sheri Goodman Graham

      Thank you for your message. I will reach out to you directly.


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