If you ask a nutritionist in Brookhaven, GA, what the best type of food to eat was, he or she would say foods without a label. What does that mean? It simply means you opt for whole foods. Foods that have been processed less. Fresh fruits and vegetables don’t come with an ingredient label, since they are natural. Lean meat, poultry and fish are also examples of whole foods.
What do whole foods provide that processed ones don’t?
The more a food is processed and the more added ingredients to add shelf life, taste or color, the fewer nutrients that food contains and the more chemicals it has. While some of those chemicals are innocuous and don’t harm the body, some may. We don’t always know what’s healthy until later. Think Crisco and cigarettes. The original Crisco was praised as being a healthier option to butter or lard and it was soon added to many foods. What wasn’t known was the partially hydrogenated trans fats, were incredibly unhealthy. Cigarettes were touted as healthy and even television doctors recommended them. You don’t have that problem with whole foods, particularly organic ones.
Whole foods are rich in nutrients.
Many of the nutrients in processed foods have been removed. Some were removed due to the processing, which can destroy nutrients like vitamin C. Some were removed for marketing. Consider low fat yogurt. The fat has been removed, but the fat actually makes you feel fuller and adds flavor to the yogurt. To make the yogurt more palatable, manufacturers add sugar, which is far worse for you than yogurt’s healthy fat. Refined grain has all the nutrients removed, so even though it has a label, choosing whole grains is important.
Whole foods, like fresh fruit and vegetables, have nutritional synergy.
What is nutritional synergy? It’s one nutrient boosting the effect of another nutrient. A good example of this is blueberries. Scientists were studying the potential of the antioxidant, anthocyanin, to fight cancer. Earlier studies had indicated this flavonoid that gives color to the blueberry could help fight it. They removed it and tried it without the results they hoped to achieve. Why? It seems the anthocyanin works in synergy with the other nutrients in the berry to provide the cancer fighting effects.
- Many processed foods are high in sugar. The sugar may come in a variety of names. High fructose corn syrup is one of those. HFCS is in a wide variety of products from candy to cough syrup and has proven to be more hazardous to the health than regular table sugar.
- Some processing isn’t bad and some food with labels isn’t either. For instance, frozen fruit and vegetables that contain only the vegetables or fruit are as healthy, if not healthier than fresh ones. They’re picked at their ripest and immediately frozen to bring more nutrients to your table.
- Fresh produce can be cheaper in season than processed foods. Frozen foods and some canned foods also provide more nutrients if they don’t contain additives.
- When selecting fruits and vegetables for your meal, make your plate look like a rainbow. The more colorful the collection of fruits and vegetables, the more likely you’ll get a wide variety of healthy nutrients.
For more information, contact us today at Thrive Fitness Atlanta