Assume there is a healthy diet plan that will keep
weight in a normal range. The same meal plan contains all
the nutrients we need for optimal health. This healthy diet
gives us energy for our daily tasks.
It keeps our digestive tract healthy. It gives us bright eyes and clear
skin. It avoids foods that cause disease.
ideal diet reduces our risk of
common conditions like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and
On this diet, we will achieve all the
of healthy eating.
As we create the perfect diet
for weight loss and for health, what
are the factors we should consider?
Nutrient dense foods
We would want our healthy diet plan to contain many nutrient dense foods.
These are foods that have a lot of nutrients per
calorie. They are foods full of:
Our organs and tissues demand a steady supply of nutrients.
important nutrients are in short supply, our
bodies weaken and develop disease.
Luckily, we have a built-in system that analyzes the food we
eat. If we are missing some of the raw materials our
body needs, our brain tells us to "eat more food".
Nutrient dense foods help us lose weight.
Nutrient dense foods satisfy our hunger. High nutrient foods turn off
our hunger drive and stop our brain from
screaming "eat more food." The most nutrient dense foods
on the planet
are dark leafy greens and other whole plant foods.
Phytonutrients are also
called phytochemicals. Scientists only recently discovered
phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are the wonderful compounds that "paint"
the bright colors on fruits
and vegetables. They slow aging and help protect us
from disease. They are found only in plants.
High in antioxidants
As we design our healthy diet plan, we also want to look for high
levels of antioxidants
in foods. Antioxidants help us destroy free radicals in
Free radicals lead to cell damage, premature aging, and disease.
Antioxidants are found mainly in plant foods.
High in fiber
Our healthy diet plan would also be high in fiber. Learn
all about the perfect high fiber diet.
It is simple and you don't need to count grams of fiber.
Some foods can make you fat, even if they are high in
fiber. This is how
to select the high fiber foods that are best for weight loss.
Animal foods contain no fiber at all. Fiber is found only in plants.
High in good carbs
Our healthy diet plan would be high in healthy carbohydrates. What are carbohydrates
and how many should we eat?
Plants are the ideal source of carbs. Animal flesh contains no
carbohydrates. Dairy products contain harmful carbs like lactose.
No cholesterol and low in
Our ideal diet would be a no
cholesterol diet. It would also be low in saturated fat.
Only animal foods contain cholesterol. Plants are cholesterol-free.
Most foods high in saturated fat are animal foods. Most plants are low
in saturated fat, with a few exceptions.
You have probably heard
that we need some cholesterol. We do need cholesterol to
build cell walls and hormones.
But our body
makes all the cholesterol we need.
We don't have to eat it.
When we eat food that contains cholesterol, it plugs
up our arteries. Calorie
for calorie, chicken and fish contain about as much cholesterol as
beef. Carnivores can eat cholesterol without
heart disease. Herbivores can't. If you feed cholesterol to rabbits,
they get heart disease just like humans do. What does this
Clean omega 3 sources
A healthy diet plan should have some good omega 3 sources.
They should not be contaminated with mercury, PCBs, or other toxic
The cleanest omega 3 foods come from plants: fresh
ground flax seeds, walnuts,
and hemp seeds. Algae-source DHA is another omega 3 option we might
want to add to our perfect diet.
Our perfect diet must contain mainly low sodium foods.
Whole plant foods are naturally low in sodium. Many animal foods,
especially cheeses, are high in sodium. If we avoid most
packaged and processed foods, we can keep the sodium level of our diet
Another thing we would look for in a healthy diet plan is lots of alkaline food.
This is food that produces an alkaline "ash" as the end product of
If we eat too many acid-forming foods, our body is prone to
disease, including cancer. Our body should be slightly alkaline for
Most animal foods are acid-forming. A plant-based diet is
Milk and other dairy products are linked
with prostate cancer, Type I diabetes, and and most of the
other autoimmune diseases. Milk is a great food for baby cows, but not
for us humans.
Our ideal diet would be a dairy
High carb low fat diet
We can also describe our healthy diet plan as a high carb low fat diet.
If you are wondering where we get our protein on this diet, here is a list of the many vegan
As we think about the details of our healthy diet plan, we realize that
we have designed a diet of all plant foods and no animal foods. It is
not even close to the government healthy eating guidelines; it
ideal diet is a vegan diet based on
plant foods. It makes sense that plants are the ideal foods for our species. Catching animals
to eat was hard work, and it burned too many calories. Wild animals
dangerous too. It was easier to eat foods that didn't fight back. The
main foods available were whole
unprocessed plant foods.
prehistoric ancestors couldn't
out for a pizza, could they? So when the brain sent out the hunger message, our ancestors usually
whole, unrefined, unprocessed plants.
digestive tracts and nutritional needs have
barely changed since those days. But the foods
available to us are very different. We now live in a toxic food
environment. It's not easy, but try to ignore the junk food all around
With a little planning, you can eat better, lose
weight, and be much healthier. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Healthy breakfast foods
It is important to eat breakfast. Go to bed earlier, get up earlier, do
whatever you need to do. You have fasted all night while you were
sleeping, and your body needs some healthy
breakfast foods. If you are trying to lose weight, the
best breakfast is a bowl of hot cooked grains and some fruit.
Keep it simple. If you don't have much time, cook
your grains overnight in a crockpot (on low setting) or in a
wide mouth thermos. Or cook
extra grains on your day off and reheat a portion each morning.
The 10 best foods to eat
often see magazine articles that talk about superfoods. We usually
agree with most of the foods they mention. Since these articles often
push fish and low fat dairy products, we never agree with them
completely. Instead, we have a game we like to play called the desert
island game. Play
with us to find the 10 best foods to eat for vegans.
A healthy diet plan can include snacks. Many years ago, a snack was a
small portion of healthy food that
parents gave children after school. Typical snacks were apple slices,
carrot sticks, or celery sticks.
Today, thanks to the food industry,
the word "snack" has come to mean a highly processed food.
foods are usually high in fat, sugar, and salt and have no
redeeming nutritional qualities.
On our vegan weight loss diet, you can have as many low calorie snacks
as you like. But they must be healthy foods with a low calorie density,
not just tiny 100-calorie portions of junk food. See this information on
the calorie content of foods to understand which foods are