Why Whole Foods Are Better for You

Whole foods are best for healthy blood sugar, energy and weight, not to mention effective digestion

Whole foods are more effectively digested than junk food

Everyone knows that junk food is bad for you. Now there’s growing interest among health-conscious Canadians in eating foods in their most natural state; not those heavily changed or designed by humans.

Natural food choices include whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, milk and fresh meats and poultry. It’s a trend that’s been partly fuelled by increasing concerns that the over-consumption of genetically modified foods and heavily processed foods may be contributing to poor health.

The human body is designed to slowly break down whole foods to extract the energy and nutrients the body’s cells need to function. Advocates of eating whole foods believe that eating large amounts of heavily changed or highly processed foods disrupts the natural digestion process. In addition, processed foods are generally high in preservatives, fat, sugar and salt, and have lost fibre and many vital vitamins and minerals. Foods like white rice, instant mashed potatoes, cake, white bread, deli meats, snack bars and sodas are common examples of heavily processed foods.

Enjoying the occasional processed treat won’t compromise your health; it’s when refined and processed foods make up most of your food choices that you could be setting yourself up for long-term health problems.

Eating whole, fresh foods has been proved to help stabilize blood sugar levels, provide more energy and assist with stabilizing weight. Choose an apple instead of a cookie or sports bar for your afternoon snack. Try to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables, cooked whole grains and natural meat choices. Save the processed, refined “fast foods” as an infrequent treat.

Originally published in Wellness Matters, Canada Wide Media’s quarterly newsletter on health and wellness.