No doubt that as of late, you’ve been hearing a lot about whole and organic foods. You’ve probably also been hearing a lot about how bad so many often consumed processed food products are for you, due to everything that makes them the way they are. Before we go any further let’s differentiate between the windtwo right now.
- Whole Foods – Foods which are minimally or note processed at all. The only ingredient is the food itself. Examples include meats, seafood, and poultry (typically not packaged until in-store for the purpose of selling), non-packaged fruits and vegetables, certain milks and not from concentrate 100% juices. Whole foods also generally are bright and vibrant in color.
- Processed Foods – Products which are marketed to us as food and are consumable, but have been heavily modified, altered, and refined for a variety of reasons. These reasons include to enhance flavor, texture, and shelf life. Processed foods are typically packaged in a notable amount of cardboard, plastic, or foil, and guarantee “freshness” as well as taste (e.g.: a bag of chips by the same brand and variety will taste the same every time you buy one).
You want to steer clear of Processed Foods whenever possible because all the extra additives and ingredients used to create and package them are not ideal for your body. Processed foods have very high amounts of sodium and sugars (some of them can even meet or beat your recommended daily allowances), preservatives, food dyes and coloring, as well as many other chemicals in them. They are also heavily handled by people and machinery in factories to ensure uniformity, but at the same time this also strips them of whatever vitamins and nutrients they may have once had (and that’s why they call it junk food!).
Choosing whole foods has great yet subtle benefits for your body and mind. You will feel better, healthier, and have more energy because of the vital nutrients you will receive from consuming non processed food. Whole food is also very easy to find in your local grocer. Have you ever noticed that most processed and packaged products are towards the center of the store while mostly non-packaged food is around the outside wall in cooler, refrigerated sections, along with the deli, dairy, and bakery departments? It is important to note that without all the excess preservatives, that whole foods typically don’t last as long in your kitchen, so buy what you need, when you need it– or find out how to store it properly to maximize it’s keeping time.
Remember that making the right choices for eating are just as important as the right choices for your activities, and while whole foods can be better for you, that eating too much of anything can be bad for you or result in health issues. Try to eat a healthy mixture of foods to ensure you are getting proper nutrition.