Whole Foods Defined

>> Saturday, March 7, 2009

Before I get any further into healing our guts, allow me to define a few terms...

First of all, I use the terms "real food" and "whole foods" interchangeably. Whole foods basically refer to those foods that have been minimally processed, containing no artificial additives or preservatives. Whole foods are less refined. I prefer to think of whole foods as foods that are as close to the way God created them as possible.

Highly refined foods like white flour, white sugar and white rice have been stripped of their nutrition while whole foods like seeds, whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables tend to have more fiber and provide vitamins, minerals, protein and high-quality fats which are necessary for optimizing overall health.

So let's take oats for example. The quick-cooking oats most people buy their children which are found in little envelopes and boast all kinds of fun maple sugar flavors, etc...are not only far from the way they grew in the field but they have all sorts of added sugars, and flavors. These kinds of products have been refined and are not as nutritious as their commercials claim. Oats that are closest to the way they grew and therefore "whole" are oats groats. Steel cut oats and rolled oats (old fashioned oats) are slightly more processed but but pack a lot more nutritious punch.

Another perfect example are protein bars that are so popular in our country now. They claim to be highly nutritious and yes, they are full of protein which is important but we have to start thinking "quality" of food, not quantity of fat grams, protein or calories. Protein bars are not real food. It's a conglomeration of powders and preservatives...far, far, far from the way those ingredients grew in the field.

The bottom line is that we have to choose wisely, read labels and think about what we're putting into our bodies. The further foods gets from it's original state, the less nutritious it is. But more importantly, the more damage it causes the lining of our gut therefore leaving us susceptible to sickness, weight gain, disease, depression, you name it.

In future posts I'm also going to be discussing other terms like "traditional" foods and "probiotic" foods. These are whole foods that have been fermented or cultured. In a nutshell, they are foods full of friendly bacteria that feed our gut and keep them happy. More discussion later.


Anonymous March 7, 2009 at 8:38 PM  

Thank you my dear. Keep it coming!

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