Connect with us

Whole Foods

Whole Food Vs. Processed

Published

on

Quality rather than quantity. Heh? That’s a cliché. But oh, so true! You have probably heard that processed foods are bad for you and whole foods are good for you. This article explores the difference between them, and also has suggestions on how to include the healthy whole foods in your diet and maximise your nutrient intake.

Boy girl and baby with variety of fruit and vegetable. Colorful rainbow of raw fruits and vegetables. Child eating healthy snack. Vegetarian nutrition for kids. Vitamins for children. View from aboveThere are two types of foods, nutrient dense foods and energy dense foods, and that is the quintessential difference between whole and processed foods.

Energy Dense Foods

Energy dense foods contain many calories (the measure of energy content) compared to their number of nutrients. For example, if you were to eat one 219g McDonald’s Big Mac, it contains 563 calories, a whopping 28% of your daily recommended caloric intake. Now that is a lot of calories for just one hamburger that will only be one part of one of your daily meals.

It also contains Vitamin C, 1% of your suggested daily intake, folate at 25% of your suggested daily intake and magnesium at 11% of your suggested daily intake (amongst other nutrients). The ratio of energy to nutrients is comparatively low, and one can imagine that this isn’t the healthiest choice.

Nutrient Dense Foods

Nutrient dense foods contain many nutrients compared to the number of calories. For example, if you were to eat a 100g portion of spinach, it contains 188% of your suggested daily Vitamin A intake, 604% of your suggested daily Vitamin K and 49% of your suggested daily folate intake (amongst other nutrients). The total number of calories is 23, 1% of your daily recommended caloric intake. The ratio of nutrients to energy is comparatively high and is obviously a healthier choice than a Big Mac!

Advertisement

Comparison of Big Mac and Spinach

In order to understand why the Big Mac is energy dense and the spinach nutrient dense, let us understand how they are treated differently before they get to us. The bun, cheese and burger are ultra-processed foods. They undergo heavy industrial processes, which strips the food of its nutrients and totally alters its composition. The spinach leaves are harvested and packed, and that’s how they reach our tables, in their natural state.

What are whole foods, and how to include in my diet?

A whole food is defined as a natural food, especially an unprocessed one – fruit or vegetable (MerriamWebster.com). Ultimately that is a food with one ingredient, or very few ingredients, which haven’t undergone heavy industrial processes.

Examples include fresh meats, fish and eggs, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, raw nuts and plain dairy products – all examples of nutrient dense foods. We do end up eating food which is “processed” even on a whole food diet – any form of cooking, blending or drying etc., is considered a form of processing, but that is healthy and tasty. What we are concerned about in terms of processing is the ultra-processing of foods, which are extracted from whole foods and then have chemicals, dyes or preservatives added, and have few nutrients remaining.

In order to eat a whole food diet:

Advertisement
  • Keep food preparation simple and use few ingredients per dish (less is more).
  • When eating out, pick simple choices, like a salad, plain meats etc.
  • Shop at your local farmers market, for seasonal, fresh and delicious produce.
  • Don’t go into the aisles of the grocery store – the simple, healthy foods are at the perimeter.

Avoid:

  • Processed salamis, meats and sausages, fish sticks, chicken fingers
  • Juices, fruit concentrates, jams with sugars and additives and canned fruits in syrup
  • Salted and roasted nuts, potato chips and similar snacks
  • Sweets, candies, chocolate and gum
  • Bought sauces and marinades etc.
  • All store-bought energy dense foods, are processed!
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
weight loss
Detoxing3 weeks ago

The Role of Detoxing in Weight Management

Cognitive improvement or brain supplements.
Supplements3 weeks ago

Supplements for Boosting Memory and Cognition

Probiotic Supplements
Supplements4 weeks ago

When and How to Take Probiotic Supplements

healthy joint
Good Nutrition4 weeks ago

Good Nutrition for Healthy Joints

turmeric
Supplements1 month ago

Understanding the Benefits of Turmeric Supplements

detoxing with herbal teas
Detoxing5 months ago

Detoxing With Herbal Teas: What to Know

Detoxing for Kidney Health
Detoxing5 months ago

The Importance of Detoxing for Kidney Health

detox, mental clarity
Detoxing5 months ago

How Detoxing Affects Mental Clarity

detoxing, weight loss
Detoxing5 months ago

The Role of Detoxing in Weight Loss

Essential Oils
Detoxing5 months ago

Detoxing With Essential Oils: Benefits and Precautions

digital detox
Detoxing5 months ago

The Importance of Detoxing From Digital Devices

detox bath
Detoxing5 months ago

How Detox Baths Can Aid Relaxation and Cleansing

lemon water
Detoxing6 months ago

The Role of Detoxing in Boosting Metabolism

vegetable
Detoxing6 months ago

Detoxing for Improved Respiratory Health

sauna therapy
Detoxing6 months ago

The Importance of Detoxing in Reducing Inflammation

raw organic healthy detox juices
Detoxing6 months ago

Detoxing With Juices: Benefits and Precautions

holding clear drinking glass
Detoxing6 months ago

The Role of Detoxing in Reducing Water Retention

clear skin
Detoxing6 months ago

How Detoxing Aids in Clearing Skin Imperfections

Meditation
Detoxing6 months ago

Detoxing Techniques for Stress Reduction

joint health
Detoxing6 months ago

How Detoxing Can Improve Joint Health

Inscription boost immunity, fresh ripe healthy fruits and vegetables
Good Nutrition6 months ago

Good Nutrition for Boosting Metabolism

Wound Healing
Good Nutrition6 months ago

The Role of Good Nutrition in Wound Healing

mg supplements
Supplements6 months ago

The Role of Magnesium Supplements in Relaxation

mental health
Good Nutrition6 months ago

How Good Nutrition Supports Mental Health

hair growth supplements
Supplements6 months ago

Supplements for Hair Growth: What Works

breakfast food
Good Nutrition6 months ago

The Importance of Breakfast in Good Nutrition

stress eating
Good Nutrition6 months ago

Good Nutrition for Managing Stress

zinc supplements
Supplements6 months ago

The Importance of Zinc Supplements for Immunity

womandrinking water
Good Nutrition6 months ago

The Role of Hydration in Good Nutrition

Supplements
Supplements6 months ago

How to Store and Preserve Your Supplements

Powdered activated charcoal for facial mask in jar with copy space
Detoxing6 years ago

Activated Charcoal To Detox Your Body

holding clear drinking glass
Detoxing6 months ago

The Role of Detoxing in Reducing Water Retention

Inscription boost immunity, fresh ripe healthy fruits and vegetables
Good Nutrition6 months ago

Good Nutrition for Boosting Metabolism

hair growth supplements
Supplements6 months ago

Supplements for Hair Growth: What Works

Fish Oil Supplements
Supplements6 months ago

The Benefits and Risks of Fish Oil Supplements

Supplements
Supplements6 months ago

How to Store and Preserve Your Supplements

sauna therapy
Detoxing6 months ago

The Importance of Detoxing in Reducing Inflammation

whole foods
Whole Foods7 months ago

Whole Foods and Their Role in Brain Health

turmeric
Supplements1 month ago

Understanding the Benefits of Turmeric Supplements

leafy greens
Whole Foods7 months ago

Whole Foods for Bone Health

Cognitive improvement or brain supplements.
Supplements3 weeks ago

Supplements for Boosting Memory and Cognition

detoxing, weight loss
Detoxing5 months ago

The Role of Detoxing in Weight Loss

zinc supplements
Supplements6 months ago

The Importance of Zinc Supplements for Immunity

detoxing with herbal teas
Detoxing5 months ago

Detoxing With Herbal Teas: What to Know

bunch of vegetables
Whole Foods7 months ago

Whole Foods That Naturally Boost Metabolism

Detoxing for Kidney Health
Detoxing5 months ago

The Importance of Detoxing for Kidney Health

breakfast food
Good Nutrition6 months ago

The Importance of Breakfast in Good Nutrition

healthy eating habits
Healthy Eating6 months ago

Overcoming Emotional Eating With Healthy Habits

drinking water weightloss
Healthy Eating8 months ago

Why Drinking Water For Weight Loss Can Help?

Meditation
Detoxing6 months ago

Detoxing Techniques for Stress Reduction

healthy joint
Good Nutrition4 weeks ago

Good Nutrition for Healthy Joints

mental health
Good Nutrition6 months ago

How Good Nutrition Supports Mental Health

weight loss
Detoxing3 weeks ago

The Role of Detoxing in Weight Management

a variety of spices
Healthy Eating7 months ago

The Role of Spices in Healthy Eating

Proper Digestion
Whole Foods7 months ago

How Whole Foods Positively Impact Digestion

Probiotic Supplements
Supplements4 weeks ago

When and How to Take Probiotic Supplements

Production steps of licorice roots pure blocks and candy on wooden table ** Note: Shallow depth of field
Good Nutrition6 years ago

Adaptogenic Herbs and Spices 101

glowing skin, healthy skin
How To Eat Clean8 months ago

The Connection Between Clean Eating and Clear Skin

clean eating, fruits
How To Eat Clean7 months ago

Clean Eating for Weight Management: What to Know

stress eating
Good Nutrition6 months ago

Good Nutrition for Managing Stress

Advertisement