Monday, September 12, 2016

A Whole-food, Plant-based Diet

A whole-food, plant-based diet is a diet based on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Such diet emphasizes whole, unrefined plants, while minimizing meat, dairy products, and highly processed foods like sugar and oil.

A whole-food, plant-based diet is simply not a diet of leafy and raw vegetables. In fact, it is far tastier and more satisfying. While spinach and kale are important parts of the diet, they are poor energy sources. We would have to consume almost 16 pounds of cooked kale in order to gain 2,000 calories each day. It’s nearly impossible to live on leafy vegetables alone. Therefore, a whole-food, plant-based diet includes diverse ingredients that can be used to create common dishes such as pizza, lasagna, and burritos, but with less flour, sugar, and oil. Following are a few food examples of the diet.

Fruits: apples, bananas, grapes, oranges, strawberries, etc.
Vegetables: lettuce, broccoli, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, zucchinis, etc.
Tubers: potatoes, corn, green peas, spaghetti squash, etc.
Whole grains: quinoa, brown rice, oats, whole wheat pasta, etc.
Legumes: kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc.

All categories are widely available at our dining halls! With the amount of healthy options, we should not build our dinner plates around meat any more. Perhaps, use unsweetened almond milk in your coffee or tea. Or add fruits to your cereal and oatmeal. Top wheat pasta with fresh grated pepper instead of parmesan cheese. Or add grilled chicken to the avocado kale Caesar wrap as gilled chicken is a great low-calorie protein source. #FoodHackICDining
- Tian

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