Whole Foods Don't Have Added Ingredients
Unlike most prepackaged meals, whole foods do not have added ingredients. Natural substances such as fruits and vegetables are often processed without any extra fat, sugar or salt. Part of the reason for making foods with added salt, sugar or fat is that these ingredients make us want more. In fact, these ingredients are linked to food addiction. The substances found in many processed foods, in fact, target the pleasure center of the brain as they produce a dopamine high. The production of this nerve chemical is what results in increased food cravings because it makes the body feel good.
It does not have to be this way, however. Still, it might take some time for you to discover healthy but tasty alternatives to the processed foods you currently eat. You also need to take time to find new ways to cook your chicken, fish, potatoes and other foods without battering them and frying them. In addition, you also want to practice keeping healthy snacks on hand.
Here are some snack ideas to keep in mind:
- Fruit and vegetable smoothies made with sugar-free or salt-free spices
- Carrots and hummus
- Guacamole and whole grain tortillas
- Dry roasted or raw nuts, unsalted or unglazed
Whole Versus Processed Foods
When comparing whole foods and processed foods, the whole foods rate higher in many areas. For instance, they have a higher level of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. They also are higher in fiber than their processed counterparts, and they usually have unsaturated versus saturated fats.
Plant foods also are easily combined to produce a synergistic nutritional effect. This helps increase protection against cancer and other diseases. Processed foods, on the other hand, raise blood pressure, increase diabetes risk, and cause heart trouble or stroke.
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