Forks Over Knives How to Eat Plant-Based

Forks Over Knives, a feature film released in 2011, helped launch the concept of a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle as a path to vibrant health and wellness. This all-new special issue, How to Eat Plant-Based, is the ultimate beginner’s guide to plant-based eating. Whether you’re ready to jump in or still thinking about adopting a whole-food, plant-based diet, you’ll learn how to take charge of your health via what you put on your plate. A WFPB diet is not about deprivation; rather, it’s about enjoying healthier versions of foods you already love. Let our tips, tricks, delicious recipes, and real-life success stories inspire you to make plant-based eating your way of life!

United States
Meredith Operations Corporation
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in this issue

2 min
plant foods for the win!

Though many people hear “vegan” or “plant-based diet” and think of deprivation, the reality is quite different: A whole-food, plant-based diet is about enjoying healthier versions of foods you already love. I’ve followed this lifestyle for 18 years. Here are a few of my best tips for long-term success: Focus on starches and fruit. Eat lots of leafy greens, but don’t expect them to sustain you. Be sure your meals include fruits or starches (potatoes, sweet potatoes, whole grains, and legumes). These foods will be your main source of calories and can be made into delicious dishes. Think potato enchiladas, black bean chili, and chickpea pot pie. Don’t worry about individual nutrients. Many people carefully calibrate their protein, calcium, lycopene, or whatever nutrient is in the news. Such precision isn’t necessary on…

1 min

Darshana Thacker Darshana is chef and culinary projects manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, Darshana is the author of the Forks Over Knives: Flavor! cookbook, recipe author for Forks Over Knives Family, and recipe contributor to the New York Times best-selling The Forks Over Knives Plan. Alona Pulde, MD, and Matthew Lederman, MD Drs. Pulde and Lederman created the medical program used in the Forks Over Knives documentary and all Whole Foods Market Medical & Wellness centers. They also coauthored the New York Times best-selling The Forks Over Knives Plan and The Whole Foods Diet: The Lifesaving Plan for Health and Longevity. Michelle McMacken, MD Dr. McMacken is a physician and assistant professor of medicine at New York University School of Medicine. She directs the Adult Weight Management Program…

4 min
from sad to whole-food plant-based

SAD is a fitting acronym for the Standard American Diet. Overwhelming scientific evidence shows that our dependence on highly processed foods, meat, dairy, and other animal products is a major contributor to the chronic diseases that tether us to costly prescription medications and rob us of our quality of life. Here’s the happy news: You have the power to improve your health, boost energy levels, and prevent chronic diseases simply by changing what’s on your plate. If you’ve seen the Forks Over Knives film, you know that a shift to a plant-based diet is a powerful way to live longer, help the environment, and reduce your risk of getting sick. WHY GO PLANT-BASED? Moving to plant-based nutrition provides several major benefits supported by strong scientific research, including: EASY WEIGHT MANAGEMENT Large-scale studies show that plant-based eaters…

1 min
what exactly is the forks over knives diet?

Forks Over Knives advocates a whole-food, plant-based (WFPB) diet. Whole-food refers to whole, unprocessed, or minimally processed foods. Plant-based describes foods that come from plants and are free of animal ingredients such as meat, milk, eggs, or honey. Instead of eating fat- and cholesterol-laden animal products and highly processed foods, fill your plate with real plant foods. There is no healthier way to eat—and no deprivation required. Here’s how it works: 1 PUT STARCHES AND FRUITS AT THE CENTER OF YOUR PLATE. Enjoy nonstarchy and leafy veggies in generous amounts, but look to carbohydrate-rich whole grains, beans, fruits, and starchy vegetables to provide enough calories to get you through your day. 2 EXPECT TO EAT MORE FOOD, NOT LESS. Whole or minimally processed plant foods are dense in nutrients, not calories. As you adjust to…

1 min
what to eat

OBESITY ALONE ADDS $147 BILLION TO AMERICANS’ ANNUAL HEALTH CARE COSTS. LOAD UP ON THESE Fruits (bananas, blueberries, oranges, strawberries) Vegetables (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, kale, lettuce) Tubers and starchy vegetables (corn, green peas, potatoes, winter squash) Whole grains (barley, brown rice, millet, oats, quinoa, wheat berries) Legumes (black beans, chickpeas, lentils, pinto beans) ENJOY IN MODERATION Plant-based milks (almond, cashew, hemp, oat, rice, soy milks) Tofu and tempeh Whole grain flours and breads Whole nuts and seeds, nut/seed butters (almond butter, pumpkin seeds, tahini, walnuts) AVOID OR MINIMIZE Bleached flours, white bread, and white pasta Dairy products Eggs Meat, poultry, and seafood Oils Refined sweeteners White rice * For a more detailed primer on the FOK diet, visit…

6 min
q and a

DID YOU KNOW? There’s no need to combine specific plant foods to ensure that your proteins are “complete.” Your body breaks down the amino acids in foods and builds them up into complete proteins all on its own. Q WILL I GET ENOUGH PROTEIN ON A PLANT-BASED DIET? A Many people don’t realize that the average American consumes more than double the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein, and most of it comes from animal products. Unfortunately, animal-based proteins have been linked to a variety of cancers as well as heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and kidney stones. Plant foods contain plenty of protein, and a well-planned whole-food, plant-based diet can easily meet our daily protein requirement, which is about 8–10 percent of total calories. There is no need to count grams of protein!…