Whole food diets focus on fresh, whole food ingredients and to minimise processed foods. The health and wellness community agree they are superior for overall wellness. However, there is no clear definition of a what constitutes a whole food.
The basic principles of a whole food diet is to minimise processed food and to emphasise on whole. The emphasis is on vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole grains seeds and nuts. These make the majority of what you eat. Therefore, the idea is to minimise or avoid animal products. It also means cutting our added sugars, white flour and processed oils.
For these reasons, these diets are often confused with vegetarian or vegan diets. While they are similar in many ways, they are not the same.
People who follow vegan diets abstain from consuming any animal products whatsoever. This includes dairy, meat, poultry, seafood, eggs and honey. Whereas vegetarians exclude all meat and poultry from their diets, and some vegetarians may eat eggs, seafood or dairy. Whole food diets are more flexible. They may not eat any animal products, another may eat small amount s of eggs, dairy, poultry, meat and seafood.
Adopting a whole food diet provides benefits to your waistline, lowers the risk and reduces the symptoms of certain chronic diseases. Perchance one of the most well-known benefits is that they are cardiovascular healthy. A research in over 200,000 people who followed a healthy whole food rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and legumes had significantly reduced the risk of heart diseases. However, unhealthy sugary drinks, fruit juices and refined grains need to be minimised to get these benefits.
Consuming the right types of food is critical for heart disease prevention. when following a whole food diet.
A similar research shows that people who adhered to healthy whole food diets had a 34% of lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Another study showed that people on whole food eating plan were associated with nearly 50% reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes. It has shown to improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes.
Several studies demonstrate that diets rich in vegetables and fruits may help prevent or slow down cognitive disorder and Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly. Whole food diets have a higher number of plant compounds and antioxidants. Thus, it slows the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and reverse cognitive deficits.
Generally, many people focus on bacon and eggs for breakfast to steak for dinner. Animal products are the focus for most people. When animal foods are included in diets they should be consumed in smaller quantities. Whole food should be the bulk of the meal with foods like dairy, eggs, poultry, meat and seafood be used more as a complement. Furthermore, if supplementing your whole food diet with animal products, choose quality products from grocery stores. Alternatively purchase them from local farms.
Whole foods shopping list may include citrus fruits, berries, bananas, tomatoes, kale, spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, brown rice, olive oil or coconut oil, legumes, coconut milk spices and herbs.