Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Frequently asked questions 

The following FAQ list results from over five years of publishing Whole Food Living as a print publication. Some of them come from one-on-one conversations as well, but the overall collection (which we continue to build) covers most of the major concerns raised when discussing this way of eating with friends, family, and work colleagues. Please contact us if you think we are missing something and would like to see it added to this list.

Strict Mediterranean diets are certainly healthy and there is a lot of evidence out there supporting this. It’s always difficult to define whether some diets are better or worse than others because, quite apart from their proportional content,  much depends on what you personally define as good or bad.

For instance, a Keto diet (plant-only or carnivore type) has beneficial impacts but governing health authorities don’t recommend them. Strict Mediterranean is regarded as healthy because it contains high levels of plant ingredients – in fact, all the things that make WFPB healthy.

The secret here is to 'dry fry.' It's an odd term, perhaps; you could liken it to sauteing but at a higher temperature, and everything happens much faster. When sauteing, we generally slow cook in a sauce mix for anything up to 20 minutes or more. With dry frying, the ingredients are placed in a good quality nonstick (or polished stainless steel) frypan and heated at above-medium heat but not hot.

The temperature should be enough to steam the water off quickly but not evaporate it instantly. Cooking with oil allows for nearly red-hot temperatures to be achieved, but there are health problems associated with that. Steamed-off water doesn't come with the same baggage.

The easy method is as follows:

  • Heat the pan and place in your ingredients
  • Constantly turn them with a spoon or spatula
  • Keep water handy in a squeeze bottle. Add small amounts as it dries off.

Instead of water, you can also use vegetable stock. It adds that extra touch of taste.

No, not usually, although a daily dose of B12 is recommended.

A point worth noting here is that WFPB eating is evidence-based. In short, YOU are the evidence. You may be healthy, or you may think you are healthy, but what helps determine whether you are actually healthy is a blood test.

You should always consult with a health professional for health advice. While Dr. Google can be useful, a qualified professional should always be consulted to treat specific conditions, especially when they are ongoing.

The quick answer is that you most certainly don't need to drink cow's milk to gain enough calcium to maintain adequate bone density and prevent fractures. However, you do need to eat plenty of the right kind of plants. There is a lot of recent research in this field and not all of it positively supports a vegan diet.

The question draws out the distinction between what we see as a typically vegan diet and a WFPB diet, which is also 'vegan' because it includes no animal products but can be significantly different from the typical vegan fare. Dr Shireen Kassam covered the problem of good bone health in an article published in WFL in 2022.

Also, check out the following video from longtime WFPB advocate, Dr Michael Greger.

WFPB eating is grounded in over 50 years of research. Essentially, it holds that optimal health is built on the intake of foods humans gravitate to, such as apples, oranges, and other fruits. We create dishes from foods we can easily recognise.

Of course, it's a lot more than that. Science has found that our best chance at good health rests with the intake of a wide variety of different-coloured plants, which we've enjoyed for thousands of years.

By eating a wide variety of plants and as many different-coloured plants as we can (i.e., eating the rainbow), we not only improve gut health but also improve our immune system.

Yes. For starters, you can get it wrong. If you don’t include plenty of greens, for instance, you run a danger of poor bone health. Of course, the same problem applies if you live by a carnivore diet. Weight loss naturally occurs when your diet is changed to this form of eating, and blood pressure drops. Generally, though, if followed sensibly, the most commonly known side effect is an outbreak of good health throughout the body.

No. If you are on medication, especially blood pressure tablets, you should talk to your doctor about what you plan to do. Blood pressure can drop significantly (within the space of three weeks) amongst those who fully adopt a WFPB diet.

Adjusting medications should only be done in consultation with your health professional.

Because excess weight is the enemy. Once our weight increases, we leave ourselves exposed to a host of chronic conditions over time.

Any discussion around weight is never meant to embarrass or fat-shame anyone deliberately. It is a matter of evidence, not personal attack.

Weight (obesity) has become a significant problem worldwide. There is a wide-ranging discussion around the reasons for this, but WFPB doctors and many other experts trace the essential cause back to the growth and adoption of the Standard American Diet (often called the SAD diet) over the last 50 years.

WFPB eating is different in both taste and design. It is a more straightforward form of eating because it focuses on mostly unprocessed dishes that are not adulterated with copious amounts of salt, sugar and oil. That, of course, makes them taste different.

In the beginning, you may feel that salt needs to be added to some  meals because that’s what you’ve always done. But a little persistence, in the beginning, pays off over time because you may find the food will taste better than you could have ever imagined. Also, as you become more familiar with herbs and spices, you will open the door to a whole new world of culinary delight that you can grow and learn in for years to come!

The fun is in knowing you are doing the best you can for your body and the sheer delight you feel when you develop eye-catching dishes you can’t wait to taste.

WFPB food isn’t laced with alcohol, either. For some, this too can affect the taste of dishes but if this is a problem, you may need to look closely at why you would want to add alcohol anyway. Science now agrees that alcohol provides absolutely no health benefits whatsoever, so what’s the point of adding it to your food?

Plant food costs vary in the northern and southern hemispheres as seasons change, but WFPB eating is no more expensive than meat-based eating and, unless you are eating at high-end restaurants, is generally considerably less. Check out what the ER Doc has to say about it.

All the protein you will ever need is available in plants. In this video, Cr Gil Carvalho presents some interesting facts on this subject.

Certainly not. Founders Peter & Catherine Barclay have a Catholic background but are pleased to say that WFPB eating works for all types of people, regardless of whether they are traditional Christians, atheists, Nuwaubians, followers of the Prince Philip Movement, Universe People (earthbound members only), Jedism but not the Aghori - scary people who pretty much reject vegetables anyway.

However, you will notice many of the comments and research information we present in Whole Food Living come from people connected to or associated with the Seventh Day Adventist church. We make no apology for this. The SDA have a longstanding (over 150 years) involvement in health research, health promotion, hospitals, clinics, health retreats and health education in universities and colleges. Their work in this field is evidence-based and highly regarded by scientists worldwide.

The case for moderation has been around a long time. If you examine the general health statistics in most Western nations - do you think it's working?

We don't doubt some people moderate what they eat much more easily than others, but unfortunately, most of us are motivated more by big business, convenience, and our pocketbooks than anything else. The problem is, we don't know it.

As a result, we become addicted to taste. In fact, modern food science is dedicated to engineering our taste in food. Ultimately, consuming more of the 'wrong' foods becomes easier and more convenient. Our 'choice' is usurped.

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