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Let's design the 
ultimate healthy diet plan

Assume there is a healthy diet plan that will keep our 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.

The ideal diet reduces our risk of common conditions like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases.

On this diet, we will achieve all the benefits 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

broccoli
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:

  • vitamins

  • minerals

  • healthy phytonutrients
Our organs and tissues demand a steady supply of nutrients. When 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

black grapes

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 our body. 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

corn on the cob

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 saturated fat


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 getting heart disease. Herbivores can't. If you feed cholesterol to rabbits, they get heart disease just like humans do. What does this tell us?


Clean omega 3 sources


walnuts
A healthy diet plan should have some good omega 3 sources. They should not be contaminated with mercury, PCBs, or other toxic materials.

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.



Low sodium


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 low.


Alkaline food


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 metabolism.

If we eat too many acid-forming foods, our body is prone to disease, including cancer. Our body should be slightly alkaline for good health. Most animal foods are acid-forming. A plant-based diet is usually alkaline.


Dairy free


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 free diet


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 protein sources.

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 is much better.

The ideal diet is a vegan diet based on unrefined 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 were dangerous too. It was easier to eat foods that didn't fight back. The main foods available were whole unprocessed plant foods.

Our prehistoric ancestors couldn't order out for a pizza, could they? So when the brain sent out the hunger message, our ancestors usually ate whole, unrefined, unprocessed plants. 

Our 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 you. 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


We 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.


Healthy snacks

apples-red
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. Snack 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 best. Bon appetite!

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