Whole Foods

Whole foods in a farmers market

Whole foods are foods that are as close to their natural state as possible during consumption. To be considered whole, a food must be unprocessed and unrefined, or have been processed or refined as minimally as possible. Whole foods do not contain any added ingredients such as sugar, salt, seasonings, etc. Examples of whole foods include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, unprocessed meats and fish, whole grains and eggs.

There are many benefits associated with eating whole foods over processed or refined foods. Often when foods get processed, some of their minerals and vitamins get lost in the process. Thus eating a whole food ensures that consumers get all of the rich and natural nutrients a food should have, without harmful additives or preservatives. Numerous studies show that whole foods reduce the risk of contracting cardiovascular disease, several forms of cancer and type II diabetes. Whole foods also cost less than most processed foods.

The difference between whole foods and organic foods is that pesticides can be used to grow whole foods, provided that they undergo no processing post-harvest. Organic foods also must pass certain USDA regulations that whole foods are not subject to. (Photo: Shutterstock)

 

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