A whole food diet is one that is minimally processed. One way of thinking about it is, if you see the food, does it look like what the farmed ingredient looks like. Uncooked rice does, but rice flour doesn’t. And rice crackers definitely does not. The thinking is that as food goes through more processing, it loses its original nutrient content, stripped of its fibre and its ability to nourish the body.
A plant based diet is one that is devoid of animal proteins. No meat (e.g., beef, pork, chicken, fish), eggs or animal secretions (e.g., milk).
There sometimes hear anxieties from people new to the whole food plant based diet over what is or what isn’t considered whole foods. Is tofu whole foods? Is soy sauce ok? What about canned kidney beans? My response usually is, if your pantry or fridge still has spam, baked beans, Caesar salad dressing etc, focus on replacing those first before you sweat the less evil options.