Let me clarify something. All foods have some calories from fat, and there is no such thing as a fat-free WFPB diet. Any diet based on fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains will contain fat. If nuts, olives, and avocados are avoided, the overall calories from fat may be in the range of 10 percent while diets with those whole foods may reach 30 to 40 percent—and both approaches have evidence for healthy outcomes in the general public.
But as I've discussed, avocados and olive oil are very different from the processed oils—no matter what kind—that are added to many WFPB diets. All processed oils have extracted only the fat calories from the original source, leaving behind many nutrients and all the fiber, providing the highest concentration of calories possible. There is concerning data that olive oil may temporarily reduce artery function, and it has been proposed that the Mediterranean diet is healthy despite the oils—not because of them. A healthy plant-based diet plan does not view oils as the healthiest component of meal planning and strives to prepare foods that are low or free of added oils of any kind.
I encourage all my patients to eliminate—or at least reduce—their intake of animal products in honor of their health, the environment, and animal rights. The first vegan society was founded just over 70 years ago, and improvements in adopting a WFPB diet should be anticipated as we learn more about the benefits. This plant-based 2.0 approach can help you reach your health goals faster and more fully.
It's time to preheat the oven, pull out the best ingredients for plan-based baking, and try out this zesty lemon and poppy seed bread.