What is a whole food? It’s a food that is eaten as close as possible to its natural, nutrient-rich state. Think of fruits and vegetables consumed directly from your garden, or unrefined grains. Basically, whole foods are unprocessed, and don’t contain added synthetic or artificial ingredients.
Whole foods are full of natural nutrients, vitamins, phytochemicals, and minerals. When eating food in its natural state, you get the benefit of direct absorption of all the natural ingredients. When food is processed, many of the beneficial nutrients are stripped. Not only that, but a lot of preservatives and chemicals are added to the food to replace the healthy stuff! In addition, excess fat, sugar, and salt can add unexpected calories. You can actually maintain or lose weight by consuming more whole foods. The natural fiber in many fruits, veggies, and grains can fill you up without adding calories.
Diets that are high in whole foods are associated with a reduced risk of chronic disease. You can reduce your chances of developing cardiovascular disease, various cancers, and type 2 diabetes, just by incorporating more whole foods into your diet. It would be nearly impossible to cut ALL processed foods out of your diet. Just stick with a goal of decreasing the amount of processed foods and increase the amounts of whole foods. right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;”>So, think of an apple rather than the apple juice. Grab some nuts instead of a candy bar. Think of a potato rather than a potato chip. Remember the moderation rule and just think before you eat
This week’s Challenge: Follow the Healthy Body Maintenance Week recipes or try to incorporate more whole foods into your diet (aim for 50% of your daily food intake to come from whole foods)!