Friday, December 24, 2010

Eating Whole Foods

Whole, fresh foods are foods that are in their natural state. No preservatives or additives are present. These foods (with the exception of dried beans, rice, pasta, etc.) will spoil. They do not have a shelf life of up to 3 years. They are natural, not man made.

Whole foods are healthier for you because they are more nutritionally dense. When consuming whole foods, you become full faster. Your body is able to absorb the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are naturally present in the foods. You become healthier. And to be quite honest, they just taste better. These benefits takes time to notice.

Always choose foods in this order: home grown or farmer’s market, organic, grocery store fresh, frozen, canned. Buy meats at local packaging plants versus grocery store. The meat is most likely local, processed at the facility and is much fresher (even if in the frozen department).

While eating 100% fresh, organic foods is ideal. It is difficult to due. The goal should be to strive to eat 85% “good food”. Good food includes whole foods and natural foods. This eliminates the use of boxed meals, canned goods, frozen dinners and many snack foods.

While striving to eat a healthy diet, one must consider variety. All food groups should be a part of your meal. Strive for the following portions with each main meal - ½ plate vegetables, ¼ plate meat, ¼ plate plant based food (rice, pasta, bread) and a side serving of fruit. Portion sizes must also be taken into consideration. A good judge of portion size is the palm of your hand.

Cooking with whole foods may take a bit longer to begin with. But once you have been eating healthier and feeling better, you will realize that the additional time is well worth your efforts. Avoid the use of your microwave oven. This appliance fills your foods with infrared rays and this is what your radio and TV also runs on. Always use your stove top and oven (or toaster oven) when preparing cooked foods. Eating a good deal of raw foods is ideal. Raw foods are easier to digest and maintain all of their nutrients. Cooking, even steaming and sautéing, reduces the nutrient content.

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