Eat Well

Top Myths about Whole Foods Plant Based Diet Part 2

Key Points

Whole Foods Plant Based Diet Definition

  • Consists of whole or minimally processed plants such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes. It tends to minimize or exclude animal-based products such as meat, dairy, eggs.


  • Lacto-Ovo Vegetarians have adequate intakes of calcium
  • Absorption of calcium related to oxalate, phytate, and fiber
    • Calcium absorption from low-oxalate vegetables (kale, turnip greens, Chinese cabbage, bok choy) is ~50%.
    • Calcium absorption from high oxalate vegetables (spinach, beet greens, swiss chard) is ~5%.
  • Calcium absorption from calcium-set tofu and fortified plant milk is ~30%.
  • Calcium absorption from white beans, almonds, tahini, figs, oranges is ~20%.
  • Calcium-citrate-malate absorption is ~36%.
  • Following WFPBD associated with lower rates of osteoporosis.


  • Whole Food Plant Based Diets have complex carbohydrates
  • Complex carbohydrates digest slowly and are loaded with fiber.
  • Studies show that every 10 gram increase in fiber will cause an 11% reduction in all-cause mortality
  • Whole grains with high fiber have even been shown to increase your resting metabolic rate

Strength and Athletic performance

  • Numerous world class athletes following WFPBD
  • Studies don’t show any declines in athletic performance with WFPBD



Sean Hashmi, MD, MS, FASN

Sean Hashmi, MD, MS, FASN is a practicing Nephrologist and Obesity Medicine Specialist in Southern California. He is founding director of, a non-profit 501c(3), non-commercial site focused on evidence-based nutrition, health, and wellness. Dr. Hashmi graduated from the University of California, San Diego Medical School. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at UCLA-Olive View Medical Center followed by a fellowship in Nephrology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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