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Whole vs. Processed Foods

Happy Earth Day! In honor of Earth Day, let's discuss the concept of WHOLE foods. You may have heard the term before but not totally understand what it means. To put it simply, whole foods are foods that remain close to their state in nature. They are foods that have not been “processed” or changed in a factory. For instance, a potato vs. a potato chip or a chicken breast vs. a chicken nugget.

Fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, milk, meat, poultry, and seafood are considered “whole foods”. However, once these foods are manipulated to make them easier for us to consume, they move away from their natural state.

A diet full of whole foods will automatically deliver the vital nutrients your body needs. But foods that have been processed contain extra salt, sugar, artificial coloring and chemicals. These are hard on your body to digest and can be addictive, leading to overeating and nutrient deficiencies!

One thing that can help you stay stocked up on whole foods is your freezer! You can buy fresh vegetables or fruits and consume part and freeze part for later. There are also many options pre-frozen. Buying frozen instead of canned eliminates the extra sodium and preservatives found in canned food. When shopping for meat, poultry or seafood, remember to think about their natural state. Lunch meat, hot dogs, and chicken nuggets have all been altered from their original state and contain additives that won’t add to your nutrition.

Simply changing your mindset about food to consider how far what you’re eating has traveled from its natural state can make a big change. Or think of it as author Michael Pollan puts it, “Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.”

If you’re ready to meet and discuss how this impacts you personally, contact me and we’ll set up a an appointment to get started - 540-599-9378

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