What is a Whole Foods Diet?
A Whole Foods diet focuses on eating whole foods which are unprocessed while minimizing or eliminating refined sugars and flours. A Whole Foods diet is not about restriction instead it is about being fully satisfied while eliminating unhealthy options from the diet. This diet also recommends drinking at least eight 8 ounce glasses of water daily and increasing exercise levels in order to achieve the best results. A Whole Foods diet has been shown to be especially effective in individuals with elevated triglycerides, high blood pressure, glucose intolerance, and obesity.
What do you eat on a Whole Foods Diet?
While following a Whole Foods diet you are able to consume a wide array of foods. Salads and other non-starchy vegetables along with all fresh fruits with the exception of bananas are available without restriction. Lean meat, poultry and fish is also available without restriction. Egg whites and reduced fat cheeses are allowed in quantities necessary to satisfy your hunger. Nuts as part of a main dish are also permissible. Coffee, tea, diet soda, and low calorie juices may also be consumed unrestricted to help satisfy your hunger. The daily limit of carbohydrates is 5 servings of 15 grams total carbohydrate.
Choices available as a carbohydrate include 1 small banana; ½ cup pasta; ½ cup of starchy vegetables such as green peas, corn, lima beans, or potatoes; ½ cup rice; ½ cup non-sweetened cereal; 1 slice of bread; 1 beer; 1 glass of wine; or 1 shot of hard liquor. The Whole Foods diet also requires that 6 daily servings of mono- and/or polyunsaturated fats and 2 cups of ½% or 1% milk per day. It is suggested that three or four meals be consumed daily and if you must snack between meals that the focus be on light foods which are green.
What do you avoid on a Whole Foods Diet?
The foods that must be avoided are anything not mentioned in the approved foods list. The foods to be avoided include all junk foods, fast foods, snack foods, and processed foods. Refined sugar must be avoided at all cost, because of this it is vital that food labels be read carefully.
What is the best way to shop while following a Whole Foods Diet?
When shopping focus on shopping the perimeter of your local grocery store. This means the focus should be on the fresh produce section, the fresh meat section, and the fresh dairy section of the grocery store is where the bulk of your shopping should be done. Also, while following a Whole Foods diet it is important to focus on the quality of your food items.
Searching out farmers markets and fresh produce stands is a great way to add variety along with quality to your diet. Although, you may believe that following a Whole Foods diet may cost more than your typical average American diet this is untrue. According to a study published in Family Medicine, “The cost per calorie of a convenience diet was 24% higher than the healthy diet.”