If you are looking for a long-term eating plan rather than a formal diet, you should try the whole foods diet. This eating approach focuses on foods that are minimally processed and in the closest possible state to their natural state. Such foods include whole grains, lean meats like fish and chicken, fruits, vegetables, legumes, yogurt, cheese, milk, seeds, and nuts. Generally, a whole-foods diet is an eating pattern that promotes foods close to their natural condition and eliminates unhealthy ingredients such as added sugars and refined grains.
It promotes weight loss, decreasing the risk of heart diseases, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cognitive decline, and improving the immune system and gastrointestinal tract health.
The whole foods diet is not classified as a particular eating plan and can be interpreted in various ways. To put it simply, you should prefer whole foods as much as possible: potatoes instead of potato chips, etc. Also, the whole foods diet promotes an excluding of the heavily processed foods. The whole foods diet emphasizes substituting refined grains with whole grains, choosing skinless chicken breast instead of chicken nuggets processed with added flavorings, fats, and preservatives. In addition, you should eat more vegetables, beans, and fruits instead of taking supplements to provide your body with nutrients. You should also avoid ready-to-eat foods such as baked goods, frozen meals, soda, and candy because such foods may be packed with artificial ingredients.
Meat and poultry often contain antibiotics and hormones. Therefore, you should either choose organic animal products or eliminate animal foods entirely. Many followers of the whole foods diet avoid canned beans in favor of soaking dry beans and preparing them at home. However, it is possible to consume healthy fruits and vegetables in canned and frozen form when no added sugar or excess sodium is added.
Focus on buying fresh foods when purchasing groceries, and choose foods with the fewest ingredients possible when purchasing products with labels.
If you have a history of eating disorders, you should be careful following the whole food diet. Also, it is beneficial to speak with the dietitian before starting the whole foods diet.
How to avoid possible nutritional deficiencies
There are no possible nutritional deficiencies in this diet plan.
Tips on improving dieting experience
- When doing your shopping, read labels and choose the products with the fewest listed ingredients.
- Choose fresh vegetables and fruits instead of convenience and processed foods that are loaded with sugar, salt, fats, and additives.
- When possible, choose products with 100% whole grains.
- When you are baking, replace half the white flour with whole-wheat flour. Also, you should use half the amount of sweetener from the recipe when you are cooking.
- Add lots of fresh fruits and vegetables to your meals.
- Make beans a regular part of your meals and snacks because they are rich in fiber, plant protein, phytochemicals, and other nutrients.
- Switch for beverages that do not include sugar. For example, water, green tea, soy milk, and fresh fruit juice are good options.
The whole foods diet is a healthy choice for people who want to improve their health because this nutritional plan focuses on eating foods that are rich in fiber, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. This diet is meant to be done as a long-term lifestyle choice rather than a fad diet, and it provides a guide to help you choose the most nutritious foods. Regardless of the kind of whole-food diet you follow, adopting this way of eating will boost your health.