If you are searching for a way to adopt a healthier lifestyle, consider switching to a “whole foods” diet. Many people refer to this way of eating as clean eating. Unlike other diets, clean eating is simply a decision to avoid processed foods. This may sound difficult or extreme, but clean eating can be simple and delicious. Here are a few common questions many people have when starting a whole foods regimen.
Why Avoid Processed Foods?
Things aren’t always as they seem in this world of drive-through lunches and dinners directly from the freezer. These calorie-laden foods are making people more overweight each year, but what doctors have discovered is that many obese individuals are malnourished. This is because processed foods often lack healthy ingredients. Simply having a tomato and lettuce on your burger isn’t enough to fulfill your nutritional requirements for the day. If your body is consistently starved of vital nutrients, many bodily functions will be affected. For example, your energy level may plummet — and you may not sleep as well as you otherwise would.
How Do I Start?
Start by eliminating processed foods from your home. If you cannot pronounce the food’s ingredients, throw it out. Avoid items with refined sugar or white enriched flour. Then fill your refrigerator with fresh ingredients from the grocery store: whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean meats, poultry, fish, nuts, low-fat dairy products, healthy oils and legumes.
Do I Have To Make Everything From Scratch?
Sometimes clean eating requires a little more effort in the kitchen; however, many delicious meals can be made quickly and easily using whole foods. You can try grilling a chicken breast and serving it with a side salad. Fry up some seasoned ground turkey breast and serve it with corn tortillas. For garnishes, you can add some lettuce and pico de gallo. Still hungry? Have some fruit for dessert.
Do I Need To Make My Own Bread?
Most people who follow a clean eating diet only eat products made with whole grains. There are several commercially made breads and tortillas on the market with no sugar added and no enriched flour.
Is This The Same Thing as the Paleo Diet?
Clean eating varies slightly from the paleo diet. Paleo dieters typically avoid complex carbohydrates. They believe they should only eat food that people had access to during the Paleolithic period, which is why the diet is also referred to as the “caveman diet”. Paleo dieters encourage high-fat foods. Clean eaters strive for balance and discourage foods with high amounts of saturated fats.
What Are The Benefits of Clean Eating?
Clean eating promotes an increase in energy and better sleep. In addition, doctors say those who adopt a whole foods diet can decrease their risks of cancer and other serious diseases. Diabetics claim they can regulate their blood sugar easier when they eat whole foods. Many people say eating clean foods lessens the severity of certain skin conditions. Eating strictly whole foods can have a dramatic impact on your health and well-being. Adding an exercise plan to your lifestyle — once your energy levels increase, that is — can do even more for your health.
Will This Diet Increase My Grocery Bill?
Eating whole foods is actually less expensive than eating processed foods. Adding organic foods to your diet may affect your grocery bill; however, organic foods are not required. People on a budget should also consider a backyard garden when turning to a whole foods lifestyle.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Some people who follow a whole foods diet complain of an increase in stomach acid. This is likely the result of adding more high-acid fruits and vegetables to your diet. Keep in mind that the benefits of adding these foods to your diet outweigh any side effects. Citrus foods are commonly the culprit. Some clean eaters take medications to reduce stomach acid, such as Nexium.
Will I Lose Weight if I Eat This Way?
Losing weight is another benefit for most people who eliminate processed foods from their diet. However, you need to take up an exercise program as well. People interested in losing weight should take care to avoid excessive fats and oils.
Processed foods that are high in sugar, salt and fat have led to a worldwide obesity epidemic. Obesity-related conditions include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and an increased chance of a stroke or a heart attack. For medications to diminish or prevent obesity-related conditions, visit a Canada pharmacy today. Consuming whole foods is an easy way to decrease your odds of a serious health problem in the future.
About the Author: Dr. Rodney Sewellhas treated many patients suffering from obesity-related problems at his Atlanta practice. He recommends following a whole foods diet, if possible.