Whole food diets have been emerging as a health trend for good reasons — there’s a lot of evidence and research backing the lifestyle for improving health and preventing diseases. Eating a whole food diet basically means eating foods that are as close to their natural form as possible. For example, choosing steak over beef jerky, oranges over orange juice or fruit gummies, etc.
A whole foods diet can benefit your health by providing you nutrients that increase your health, many of which can’t be consumed through processed foods or supplements. Phytochemicals are a major bonus to consuming whole foods. These are perfect for preventing diseases and helping your body function properly. They are a plant-food substance that can only be consumed through plants in their whole form or grounded nuts and seeds.
In addition to phytochemicals, whole foods also contain ample amounts of vitamins. Some vitamins are destroyed or lessened during not only the cooking process, but also through processing. Good fats and other nutrients like fiber can also pack a bigger punch in whole form, helping you achieve your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of essential nutrients.
Another benefit to eating a whole foods diet is that you consume less “extras.” In processed foods, often times the good fats and nutrients that provide flavor and taste are stripped from the food, so in order to make it appealing, salt and sugar are added in high amounts. In excess amounts these additives contribute to metabolic diseases (such as diabetes, heart disease, etc.) and high blood pressure.
Avoiding processed foods can be difficult, they’re everywhere! But if you’re having trouble getting started, just take some smaller steps. Check out the ingredients list on your favorite snacks and foods and see if you can find alternatives that list less ingredients, or at least ones that you recognize! Opt for potato chips that are potatoes, oil, and salt versus additional ingredients like lactic acid, whey, etc.