What are Whole Foods?

Nutrition_Image
Nutrition_Image

Do you want to be healthy?  Do you want to change the way you eat and still enjoy your food?  Do you want to use food as medicine to help you get healthy?  Then you want to eat whole foods.  What are whole foods? Whole foods simply refer to eating foods in their natural state. These are foods that do not contain additives and preservatives, like high fructose corn sugar or flavoring or coloring.  These foods have not been highly processed with all the nutrients being removed, like white flour.  Whole foods have a high nutrient density, essential and nonessential amino acids, essential fatty acids, phytochemicals, fiber, and micronutrients required for metabolism and restoration. Examples of whole foods are vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, or dairy products.

The Great Carbohydrates

 

Vegetables, fruits, and grains are ALL considered carbohydrates. Vegetables and fruits are healthy sources of fiber and micronutrients. Eat and enjoy them raw, sautéed, roasted, blanched, or pureed. Eat them in as large of portions as possible. Limit dried fruits which can be overly sweet and impact blood sugars negatively.  Whole grains include any grain that has the fiber part intact. For bread, cereal, and pasta labels look for the words “Whole Grain” or “Whole Wheat Fiber.” “Wheat Flour,” “Unbleached Wheat Flour,” or “Enriched Wheat Flour” are not acceptable so be careful. Other examples of whole grains are steel cut oats, millet, barley, brown rice, wild rice, amaranth, quinoa, couscous, spelt, bran, or corn.

Proteins Provide Power

 

Proteins, both animal and plant-based, are a requirement for daily nutrition and a whole foods diet. Plant-based protein options are nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes. Animal based proteins are any foods that come from an animal like red meat, white meat, poultry, dairy, or eggs.  Good choices for plant-based foods are nuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts, and cashews. Examples of legumes: pinto beans, navy beans, green peas, string beans, lentils, black-eyed peas, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), lima beans, and soy beans (tofu).  There may be some other options but these are my favorite.

Meats should be organic, grass-fed or free-range and nitrate-free whenever possible. Red meats or pork should be lean and be limited to once per week. Chicken, turkey, or poultry should be lean whenever possible. Eggs from free-range chickens are high in essential fatty acids and don’t cause cholesterol problems. Fish are best if they are cold water because they have the most essential fatty acids – cod, flounder, halibut, herring, mackeral, mahi mahi, red snapper, salmon, swordfish, trout, or tuna. The best cooking methods are baked, broiled, or roasted.

Fats are Fuel for our Brains and Hormones

Healthy Fats that come from Extra Virgin Olive Oil andCoconut Oil are great cooking options.  Avocadoes, Olives, nuts and seed have essential fatty acids for our normal hormone regulation and brain function.  Cold water fish like mentioned above can also have great oils for our bodies

As you can see there are so many choices of healthy options with whole foods that you can have numerous and delicious options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.  Whole foods have been shown to improve your energy level and health issues like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

Live Vibrantly,

Dr. Daemon Jones