Mankind has been using food preservation ever since the time when sailors and warriors, salted, sun-dried, or boiled their food so that they can take them on their long journeys. In today’s technological age, innovations like free-drying, artificial flavors, and preservatives give customers convenient and long lasting products. However, what most people refuse to acknowledge is the fact that there are sometimes which reveal that conveniences like these can contribute to hazardous health conditions, which can lead consumers to practice the whole food diet.
Chemical and natural products are being used for processed foods to have an improved flavor, as this increases shelf life and reduces bacterial pathogens in the food. In order to do this, they have to control the levels of microorganisms, chemical processes, or enzymes in a particular food, or change the physical structure of food altogether, like the case of free-dried products. A classic example of this food processing method is pasteurization. A diet which is non-processed is high in foods which have not been under any method for processing.
A diet of whole foods contains essential nutrients and vitamins which is normally lost in several methods of processing. Normally, these will include fiber and phytochemicals. Phytochemicals have been proven to decrease a person’s chance of developing lifestyle diseases like colon disorders, heart ailments, and cancer. If food is processed, many beneficial substances are lost. For instance, grains are being processed by manufacturers to make baked goods and flour. Wheat germ, the one containing a huge part of the grain’s phytochemicals and fiber, is lost in the whole process. A diet rich in whole foods is ideal for individuals who want to decrease their intake of sodium, especially because processed foods have high sodium amounts.
Foods to Avoid and Enjoy
A whole non-processed food diet should be rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Yellow, orange, and green vegetables are particularly the top choices because they are great sources of nutrients. One should shy away from canned goods and refined products like white flour or sugar, goods that make use of refined flour including margarine, shortening, and white bread. A few diets do not permit consumption of fermented or pasteurized products like wine, beer, and milk because technically speaking, these are still processed goods.
Research and Studies
A study made by experts at the United States Human Nutrition Research Center last 2000 revealed the benefits that a whole food diet can bring compared to the one which makes use of processed foods. Women who have high levels of fat were assigned to participate in a diet plan for four weeks. In the first 2 weeks, they were asked to eat no to little unprocessed food, which was then followed by a fast switch to a diet consisting of whole foods in the next 2 weeks. Blood tests then revealed that the lipid levels of the women decreased in the whole, non-processed food period. Aside from that, there has been noticeable improvement in colon function and a decrease in cholesterol levels.
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