Whole foods: The Smart Choice
When you’re juggling work, runs to daycare, commute time and bedtime, it’s often very tempting to put your family’s healthy eating plan on hiatus and add the word “restaurant” to your routine. When the urge to indulge comes on strong, keep in mind how important it is to eat whole, unrefined foods as often as possible. Although whole foods are generally more expensive than processed foods, they not only help you absorb and assimilate nutrients, but they will also cost you less than a pit stop at your local restaurant!
What are whole foods?
A whole foods diet is best defined by a home-prepared meal made with whole ingredients, i.e. unprocessed and unrefined ingredients that contain no preservatives or additives. As a reference, think of your grandmother’s comfort cooking and the ingredients that made up her traditional recipes.
Conversely, processed foods undergo various processes that deplete their nutritional content, including the removal or destruction of fibre. This transformation technique results in a “pre-assimilated” product. As a result, the body can assimilate little or none of its remaining nutrients.
Fibre plays an essential regulating role during the digestion process. On the one hand, soluble fibre protects the small intestine by forming a gel that slows the absorption of nutrients, preventing sugar levels from spiking and causing various symptoms. On the other hand, because it becomes saturated with water and increases stool volume, insoluble fibre helps regulate intestinal function and promotes satiety.
On the other hand, refined foods have no fibre, so eating them increases blood glucose levels significantly. And since glucose is the body’s first choice of energy, it is quickly absorbed, causing a spike in blood sugar levels that is harmful to health.
A ticking time bomb
It’s easy to assume that consuming refined food occasionally won’t have long-term effects on you or your children, but don’t be fooled! The food industry is evolving at lightning speed and using increasingly damaging processing methods. This reality makes it all the more necessary to stay vigilant and focus on a whole foods diet from an early age.