...is KFMH's simple eating guideline. We recommend a diet consisting of ≥50%, ideally ≥66%, whole plants.
Why do you recommend a goal of a diet consisting of ≥50%, ideally ≥66%, whole plants?
Every rational diet includes the recommendation to eat lots of plants – whether it be fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and/or nuts and seeds. They provide a continuous infusion of life-giving/extending antioxidants, micronutrients, fiber, and general anti-inflammatory effect/disease prevention (and often reversal). Even the national (USDA) guidelines (“MyPlate”) recommend a >70% plant-based diet. Remember that the protein section also includes plant-based protein like legumes (things that come in pods, like beans, peas, and peanuts), nuts, and seeds. We recommend ≥50% (half the plate or every other snack), ideally ≥66% (2/3rds the plate or two out of every three snacks), whole plants because either are both simpler in concept and more powerful from a health and weight management standpoint – mainly because the MyPlate guidelines include juice (not a health food) in the fruit recommendations and advise that you “make half your grains whole” (which is a start, but we need to strive for better).
What exactly are “whole plants”?
As the term “whole” implies, it refers to the use of the entire plant, no matter how it’s prepared, without processing any healthy parts out or adding processed plant products. What makes a plant healthy is the fiber, micronutrients and water. Whenever you remove any of those things, the plant is no longer “whole.” Non-whole plants of course include less-healthy products extracted from plants (something Dr. Cluff calls “plant waste”) like sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, oil, white flour, and syrup. These things have no fiber or water, and are mostly devoid of micronutrients (in fact, most are highly inflammatory or disease-causing). Your best indicators of a non-whole plant product when reading labels is the absence of fiber (e.g., bread that has <1 g fiber) and the presence of added sugars.
Does it matter which plants one eats?
A variety of plants is recommended, but you may desire or need to eat some more than others – it is entirely your choice.