All you need to know about why eating whole foods is important, how to incorporate more whole foods into your daily foods, what it means when food is processed or ultra-processed and who to read the labels on the food you buy.
Whole foods are foods that:
This includes unprocessed food, such as the edible parts of plants (for example fruits and vegetables) or minimally processed food, when the inedible or unwanted part of the food removed, (such as oats, brown rice and legumes). Both these options should not have added salt, sugar, and/or oils/fats an infrequently contain additives to preserve the properties of the original food.
Ultra-processed foods have been refined/ processed to the point that they contain very little or none of the original nutrients and typically consist of five or more ingredients (such as sugar, oils, fats, salt, anti-oxidants, stabilisers, preservatives and additives). They need all these additional ingredients to imitate sensory qualities of unprocessed/ minimally processed foods or to disguise undesirable sensory qualities of the final product. Typical examples include:
The consumption of ultra-processed foods and drinks have increased across the world together with an increase in overweight and obesity. Many of us lead rushed and busy lifestyles and to accommodate this lifestyle, food manufacturers have created ready-to-eat meals that need little or no heating. These ready-made meals, although convenient, are often not healthful (as explained above). They are also often perceived to be cheaper than whole foods, however, with a little preparation, wholefoods can go a long way and in the long run will be cheaper and healthier than their read-made counterparts.
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