Home Healthy eating What is the whole foods diet? (10 tips to help you switch to whole foods)

What is the whole foods diet? (10 tips to help you switch to whole foods)

written by Vidya Sury August 8, 2020
what is the whole foods diet

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The whole foods diet involves eating foods that have undergone minimal or no processing. Whole foods are as close to their natural form as possible. The whole foods diet is also referred to as clean eating.

Whole foods include fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and legumes rather than depending on supplements for fiber and vitamins. Whole foods are rich in phytochemicals and nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, good fats and fiber that are usually lost when they are processed.

Switching to the whole foods diet enables us improve our health and prevent nutrient deficiencies and chronic disease.  Whole foods reduce the risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • Arthritis, Osteoarthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Depression

How to get more whole foods into your diet?

what is the whole foods diet and 10 tips to switch to the whole foods diet

Now let’s look at 10 tips to shift to the whole foods diet in a way that includes whole foods. This way of eating will provide your body with the nutrient profile it needs to repair and keep you performing your best.

1.     Start Gradually

As you begin to choose a healthier diet consisting of whole foods, trying to completely transform your eating habits from day 1 is a mistake. Instead of ransacking your pantry and trashing all of your household food items, gradually eliminate the unhealthy foods. As you finish a less than favorable item, simply don’t buy it again. With each shopping trip, replace the item with a whole food.

2.     Experiment with New Foods

Most of us could probably check off our weekly shopping list with our eyes closed. Falling into the habit of buying the same unhealthy food options is easy to do. As you begin to seek out more whole foods, you will no doubt discover items at your local supermarket completely unknown to you! Instead of passing these items by, start sampling these choices here and there. You may find something that hits the spot and provides tasty, healthful option!

3.     Make the Process Enjoyable

Whole foods are great; filling your shopping cart up with whole foods you can hardly stomach is not! Eating should be enjoyable, and with the huge variety of whole foods available, finding items you like to eat is very achievable. If you purchase something that doesn’t hit the spot, don’t get discouraged. Keep experimenting until you have a list of go-to whole foods you look forward to eating.

4.     Find Fun Recipes

Just because you are switching to whole foods, there is no need to eat them exactly the way they came from the farm! Just as you would with any other food item, look up creative recipes that incorporate these new items in tasty and creative ways. Boring, bland meals day after day is sure to derail your attempt at a healthier way of eating.

5.     Visit Local Farmers Markets

Almost every community has a farmer’s market that allows you to purchase local foods grown right at home. In addition to these items usually being much cheaper than your local organic supermarket, this is also a great way to support local business and promote fellowship within your community.

10 tips to switch to the whole foods diet

6.     Don’t Stick to One Item

A lot of fad diets today encourage you to base your entire eating pattern around a very limited number of whole food items. Avoid buying into this advice. No single food item provides all the key nutrients your body needs. Vary your meals and food choices to make sure you are getting the adequate amount of nourishment.

7.     Be Cautious of Advertising

Given the fact that whole foods diets have become increasingly popular of late, a lot of advertisers are taking advantage of this trend. Just because something says whole food or healthy does not mean this is always the case. When selecting items, spend more time looking at the nutrient information on the back of the container rather than the flashy promises on the front! And remember, if you can’t read it, don’t eat it!

8.     Adjust Your Shopping

One thing you are sure to notice as you begin selecting more whole food is that these items tend to spoil much faster than their processed counterparts. Oh, there is nothing wrong with these items; food isn’t meant to keep in your cabinets for weeks and months on end! With this in mind, you may need to begin buying less during each grocery trip and shop more frequently instead.

9.     Create A List Beforehand

As you may already be aware, buying whole foods isn’t always the cheapest option. The total at the cash register may come as a bit of a surprise at first. To mitigate this discomfort, take the time to prepare a list of only the things you need before you even step into the grocery store.

10. Be Ready for An Adjustment

Here’s the thing: changing the way you eat is going to be strange at first. As with anything else, shifting a deeply ingrained habit in any area of your life involves an adjustment period. It is important to keep in mind exactly why you are changing the way you eat and remind yourself of the vast array of benefits that come with fueling your body the right way! You will feel more energetic. The whole foods diet essentially offers you a better way to increase your fiber intake since it has both insoluble and soluble fiber. Also, you’ll worry less about counting calories, promoting healthy weight management.

Just remember:

  • choose products with 100% whole grains whenever you can.
  • while baking, substitute white refined flour with whole wheat flour.
  • Eat lots of fresh produce – veg and fruit. Include them in every meal/snack
  • Include beans in your diet as they are an excellent source of plant protein, fiber, phytochemicals, and other nutrients.
  • Try and avoid processed foods and convenience foods loaded with added fat, sugar, salt and other additives.
  • With beverages, go for non-sugary options like water, mineral water, green tea, fresh fruit juice and skim or soya milk.

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