TOTAL HEALTH TRANSFORMATION SYSTEM
Whole vs. Processed Foods
Exploring the difference between whole and processed foods.
There’s a big difference between whole and processed foods.
Looking at common breakfast food packages, we might see marketing labels like:
- “A good source of fiber”
- “Enriched with vitamins and minerals”
- “High in calcium”
- “Contains 30% of the RDA for vitamin C”
- “Made with real fruit”
- “100% pure premium fruit juice”
That marketing looks exciting.
What about the back of the package, for what’s behind the marketing?
Whole vs. processed foods
Two important nutrition principles:
- Eat whole foods.
- Avoid or minimize processed and refined foods.
Okay, that makes sense. But why are whole foods better? And what happens when something is “processed” or “refined”?
What’s a whole food?
Generally, the more steps a food has to take to get to its final destination, the less healthy nutrition it contains.
Fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains have naturally occurring:
- good fats
- beneficial phytonutrients (plant chemicals), such as the pigments that make strawberries red
Whole foods are higher-quality and nutrient-dense.
Processed foods have either been artificially produced without these naturally occurring nutrients, or they’ve had the nutrients stripped through processing.
Nutrients are removed during processing with heat, solvents, additives, preservatives, bleaches, deodorizers, and other industrial chemicals. Any vitamins, minerals, fiber, and “natural” colors and flavors have to be added back in.
Often, those artificial adds are a poor imitation of Nature’s amazing complex, whole nutrition.
Why care about whole food?
Those differences in nutrient quality will show-up as differences in your experience.
Higher-quality and a full variety of nutrients lends to optimal body functioning in the form of:
- energy levels
- physical performance
- immunity to illness
- sleep and recovery
The body is a complex system of processes, requiring especially the essential nutrients that nature provides in whole form. What you put into that system defines what you get out of it.
In a big way, the quality of food you eat defines the quality of life experience you have.