- Diet & Weight Loss
Basic Weight Loss Benefits of Whole Foods
Many people credit the American obesity epidemic with the prevalence of heavily processed convenience foods consumed at such a high rate throughout the country. It's true that many packaged foods contain chemically altered ingredients and fillers that are believed to contribute to overeating, increased in body fat, and diet-related health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.
When you want to lose weight, it's important to understand the basic weight loss benefits of eating whole foods compared to processed foods. Whole foods, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, grains, and meat are made up of nutrients that the human body needs in order to survive and flourish. When these foods are transformed into shelf-stable, quick cooking convenience foods, they undergo a transformation.
The more a food is processed, the more of its nutritional value is stripped away. A food item that is healthy and nutritious in its natural form can become devoid of nutritional benefits once it undergoes processing. When foods are processed, artificial ingredients are added, and many of the natural characteristics of the food that make them healthy in the first place are taken away.
The best diet for weight loss is one that minimizes the consumption of processed foods and emphasizes eating foods the way that nature intended us to enjoy them. For example, there is a big difference between eating whole grain bread and heavily processed white bread. The processed bread does not include the fiber rich portions of wheat grains that provide the most nutritional value.
When choosing food products, it's always better to go with items that have undergone as little processing as possible. Whole oats, for example, have much more fiber than instant oatmeal. Dried beans that you prepare yourself don't have high fructose corn syrup or the other artificial ingredients you'll find in the same types of canned beans.
When you choose heavily processed foods over whole foods, you're filling your body up with empty calories, which means you'll have to consume more calories to have any chance of providing your body with the nourishment it needs to function effectively. When you want to lose weight, it's important that you choose nutrient rich whole foods that provide your body with the greatest amount of nutrition for the fewest number of calories. Whole foods are a much better nutritional value than processed alternatives.
Diet Tip: If you think that you don't have time to in your busy schedule to shop for and prepare whole foods, stop and think about how much more time you're going to have to devote to exercise to burn of the extra calories you consume when you build your diet around processed foods.