Love the Whole Foods that Love You Back
By Jonathan “Quiggy” Quigg
This is one of the better mantras I’ve picked up over years working with health and wellness programs. If we are talking about making food choices that are good for our body, make us feel satisfied and energized, and digest naturally, whole foods are where its at. What is a whole food? Its anything that comes naturally from the earth and is unprocessed. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, meat, fish and eggs are all examples of whole foods, at their core. The way they are cooked can affect the level of processing, but in general these types of foods offer us all the nutrients that our bodies need to survive and thrive. A diet centered around these types of food is likely to make you feel pretty good.
On the other hand, processed foods are those that have been broken down or manipulated. Even if derived from a whole food, in this process, much of the value a whole food brings to our body is lost. In come addicting taste profiles and calorie density, without the accompanying nutritional quality and fullness (the fiber content of a whole food, which makes us feel satisfied longer, tends to get stripped by processing). Processed foods will light up the reward centers in our brains, but are more likely to have a neutral or negative impact on our body, because our body has to digest a bunch of chemical gunk it wasn’t designed to take in.
That’s not to say that one is good and the other is bad, or that you should never have processed snacks. The encouragement here is to find and focus on loving those whole foods that love you back. My favorites are bananas, sweet potatoes, avocados, peanuts (and peanut butter made just with peanuts), salmon and dark (I’m talking 95% dark here, for me personally – which means there is almost no sugar) chocolate. Without human interference, these whole foods pack a nutritious punch that the body can digest easily, and they are tasty AF. So, they feel good to eat. They love you back, in taste and energy.
What whole foods do you love most? How does you feel when you eat those? How do you feel when you eat processed/fried food?
PS I DO NOT work for Whole Foods… nor am I promoting them =)