What Exactly is a Whole Foods Diet?
There are so many diets on the market being advertised, but what is the Whole Foods Diet? It’s a diet with an emphasis on eating lean proteins, whole grains, fresh fruits, and fresh vegetables. It minimizes the intake of processed foods that include artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, and artificial colors, along with a long list of unnatural preservatives. These added ingredients have been linked to headaches, depression, cancer, and other ailments.
Whole foods diets have been linked to weight loss, lowering cancer mortality rates, they may reduce symptoms of hypothyroidism, along with other health benefits. So what exactly do you eat while on a Whole Foods Diet? This diet is definitely one that doesn’t need to be termed a ‘diet’. It can be a lifelong eating habit. By introducing more natural, unprocessed foods, you will slowly start to crowd out the foods that are bad for you. When following this eating plan, it’s great to focus on what you can eat, rather than what you can’t eat. Here is a list of portion sizes while on a Whole Foods Diet. However this can vary depending on your activity level, gender, age, and more. To determine the appropriate serving recommendations for you, speak with your health care professional:
Portion Sizes On a Whole Foods Diet
- Fruit – 1 ½ – 2 cups per day
- Vegetables – 2 – 3 cups per day
- Grains – 5 – 8 ounces per day
- Protein – 5 – 6 ½ ounces per day
- Your protein options don’t necessarily need to be animal proteins. There are lots of healthy plant-based proteins out there that will provide the same nutritional benefits as animal protein.
Getting Started On a Whole Foods Diet
So how should you get started on a Whole Foods Diet? The first thing to do is either throw out or use up the processed products that are in your house. You don’t need to go through your cupboards and fridge, and start purging all items with added unnatural ingredients. You can use those up first with the intention of never buying them again. Once they are gone, replace them with healthier options. For example, if you have an unopened package of standard spaghetti that is made with refined white flour, use that and then replace it with a whole grain option. This will make it easier to replace items over time, without breaking the bank. Next, when grocery shopping focus on buying lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. You and your family will be a lot more likely to pick the healthy food options if they are readily accessible, so prep fruit and veggie snacks ahead of time, splitting them into healthy portions, and storing in your fridge.
Frozen foods are also a great choice because you can keep them in your freezer longer and use them when needed. I usually recommend steering clear of canned fruits and veggies. Fruits have added sugars, syrups, and preservatives, and veggies are full of sodium.
Another quick tip for staying on a Whole Foods Diet, is if the product has over 5 ingredients, don’t eat it. Also if there are ingredients that you aren’t familiar with, or can’t pronounce, don’t eat it. We can all pronounce and recognize fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins. Do your research though, just because one diet is great for one person, doesn’t mean it’ll be great for you as well. Remember to take your vitamins and supplements as well, such as Acai Berry or Raspberry Ketones. Diets are best when they aren’t necessarily diets, but can end up being a healthy eating habit that can be done long-term.