Any visit to the vegan section of the dairy case or freezer section of the grocery store will show a variety of packaged vegan items including butter, mayo, cheese, meat replacements and sauces. These items have long ingredient lists, full of oils, solids and things that can’t be pronounced. These are processed foods, so those seeking whole food plant based meals avoid using these vegan choices. We actually commonly refer to them as ‘vegan junk food.’
Oreos and red wine are ‘vegan’, but certainly not whole food plant based.
The definition of WFPB includes the following concepts:
- No processed or highly refined foods. The idea is to avoid hidden sugar, salt, oil, preservatives, stabilizers and basically any mysterious chemicals that can’t be found alone as an ingredient on a shelf in the store. If it was made in a factory, it isn’t part of whole food plant based eating. We replace bright shiny packaging with brightly colored vegetables, fruits, legumes, seeds, nuts and grains.
- ‘Vegan’ often includes an ethical component, with the refusal to use anything that exploits another living being. This includes leather, bone, fur, honey, etc. WFPB is driven from a health standpoint first and foremost.