First, nuts, seeds, avocados, and other whole-plant foods high in natural fat are essential to a healthy diet when consumed in modest amounts. The argument against natural fat in whole, plant-based foods is the same reductionist thinking used by the dairy industry to advocate for milk consumption.
Milk contains calcium and calcium is a building material for bones, so the dairy industry has argued for years that we should consume milk. Yet science shows that increased consumption of high protein foods like milk and other animal-derived foods (coupled with consumption of less plant-derived foods) are associated with lower long-term bone health. Biology is complex beyond our comprehension. What matters most is not the presence of calcium in milk, but the wholistic effects of milk on the body. Likewise, what matters most with whole plant foods higher in fat is the not the presence of fat, but the way this nutrient is utilized by the body and the effects it produces, and research is increasingly showing these plant foods to be beneficial.
Salt and sugar are in a different category. Adding extra salt and sugar out of their natural context is not essential to our diet. There is no scientifically convincing evidence to suggest, however, that low amounts of these ingredients within the context of a whole food plant-based diet have any statistically significant adverse health effects, which is important because we believe that people should be free to eat food with flavors they enjoy. We will not change the world around the idea of plant-based nutrition if we tell people they must give up the food they love for food that tastes bland.
The PlantPure Communities (PPC) Culinary Philosophy allows for modest levels of added salt and sugar, based on the assumption that as people experience the benefits of this diet, they will do their best to reduce these ingredients as much as possible over time. Taste preferences change, so once we become accustomed to a low-salt and low-sugar diet, we discover that these flavors “pop” at low amounts.
The PPC Culinary Philosophy also allows people the opportunity to have, now and then, a fun dessert and even a glass of beer or wine.
This statement was reviewed and approved by our science advisor, Dr. T. Colin Campbell.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information shared by PlantPure Communities (PPC) is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are on medication and are changing to a whole food, plant-based diet, you should discuss with your health care provider the changes that you are making in your diet and how these changes may require an adjustment in medication dosage. It is important that you work with your doctor to monitor your condition and medication dosage during your change of dietary practices, especially if you are taking blood pressure and/or diabetes medications.