The more we learn about nutrition, the more research points up in the direction of eating mostly “whole foods.” This doesn’t mean that everything that’s in Whole Foods market is considered a whole food. I say that tongue and cheek, but I did seriously have a client come in once wanting to lose weight and when asked about her diet she exclaimed, “I eat healthy. Everything I buy comes from Whole Foods market. Why can’t I seem to lose weight?” Upon deeper inspection, I discovered a diet still laden with processed, boxed foods that are often found in the middle of the store, versus the more perishable items which are typically on the perimeter of most grocery stores. Boxed foods typically contain highly refined ingredients that don’t resemble anything close tothe actual whole food it started as. Take oatmeal as an example. Most oatmeal products on the shelf have been refined so much that they cook in one minute and no longer even resemble the whole grain which takes more like 30 minutes to cook. How about whole wheat/whole grain bread? Most store-bought breads need to have the nutrients added back in, “enriching” flour with vitamins and minerals to restore the nutrients the refining process strips away.
Eating whole foods, as close to their natural state as possible, is akin to how our ancestors ate before modernization of food production and food sciences. Food is now engineered to be lighter, fluffier, tastier, and uses highly refined ingredients to achieve these flavor profiles which contain copious amounts of calories but sorely lack in true nutrition. True nutrition doesn’t just mean the basic macronutrients of fat, protein and carbs. So much of the nutrients our body really craves are the micronutrients found in true, whole foods, like plants foods, nuts, legumes and meats. Nothing can substitute for these missing ingredients which is why so many people struggle with their weight. Eating processed food leaves your body craving more calories to compensate for the absent micronutrients and minerals you miss when your diet lacks in real, whole foods.
Want to control your blood sugar? Eat whole foods. Whole foods typically don’t raise blood sugar levels the same way as refined and processed food. The more refined the food, the higher blood sugar and insulin levels go. Choosing whole foods and skipping the breads, pastas, cookies, muffins, cakes, chips, etc. helps your keep your blood sugar more stable also, which helps to regulate hunger as following a spike in blood sugar, we get a big dip. That dip often creates more cravings to have more refined foods to raise levels back up, there by causing us to overeat. Bottom line: there is no magic exercise that will shrink your belly or pill that will give you the body you want. The best exercise youcan do to have your best body,one that feels as good as it looks is to start with eating like we were meant to eat. Real, whole foods, not processed, courtesy of Mother Nature.