The more science learns about nutrition and health the more it seems people should be eating the way they did before the industrial revolution. Recent studies appear to be show that the human diet should consist mostly of “whole foods,” meaning a food item which is as close to its natural state as possible. Following the whole-food eating plan involves maximizing nutrient intake from naturally-sourced foods while avoiding nutrient-deficient processed foods. A simple example is eating bread made from whole-grain flour rather that refined white flour.
Whole foods mostly include plant-based material like fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and animal products such as meat, poultry, fish and eggs. The whole-food diet differs from the raw-food diet in that the foods can be cooked with the whole food diet, provided the food is not refined.
The whole foods diet has its own weight loss plan which aims to controls the consumption of refined flour and sugars, but allows moderate amounts of fat, starch and protein. The weight-loss program is particularly appropriate for anyone with hypertension, high blood pressure, elevated triglyceride levels, or who are moderately to severely obesity or glucose intolerance.
Why Whole Foods?
More and more health experts are taking the approach that eating mostly whole foods is one of the best way to improve health and vitality while staving off disease. This is because unprocessed foods retain the entire compliment of naturally present and valuable fiber, nutrients and phytochemicals that are typically stripped away when foods are processed.
How to Add More Whole Foods to the Diet
Consume as much of the following foods as needed to satisfy hunger:
• Non-starchy vegetables, like carrots, tomatoes and broccoli
• Whole fresh fruit, except for bananas, or canned fruit without added sugar
• Lean meat, poultry, ham, reduced-fat sausage and bacon
• Wild-caught fish
• Egg whites
• Unpasteurized milk
• Reduced-fat cheeses and specifically cottage cheese
• Nuts and legumes
• Coffee, tea and low-calorie fruit juices
Control the intake of carbohydrates, as this will allow for weight loss and lower elevated blood-sugar and triglyceride levels. Up to five servings of carbohydrate per day is allowed, including:
• Whole grain bread
• Pasta, rice, oatmeal or unsweetened breakfast cereal
• Potatoes, beans or peas
• Beer, wine, or liquor
You should also add fat-free or 1 percent milk each day; however you can substitute fat- and sugar-free instant pudding mixed with low-fat milk, sugar-free low-fat regular or frozen yogurt or reduced-fat sugar-free ice cream.