So many messages, so much confusion! The plethora of nutrition messages, the do’s and don’ts, is overwhelming. So many truths, so many lies! It is no wonder we throw our arms in the air and say “forget it; I’ll eat what I like”.
Don’t despair. This series of articles will help you find your way through the minefield of food and nutrition information. I hope that it will ease your path and help you find a way to eat healthily without forgetting that food is one of the most delicious aspects of our lives.
The first cab off the rank is WHOLEFOODS. If you choose to make only one change to your food intake, then make it this one.
Wholefoods are those foods that aren’t processed to within an inch of their lives. Not all processing is bad. But less is more. We want to eat as many foods in their “al la natural” state as possible.
What does that look like?
Ok, so you have heard of the five food groups. If not here is a link http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/food_variety_and_a_healthy_diet
Essentially the five food groups include:
Breads and cereals
Meat and meat alternatives
Breads and Cereals
Choose foods such as oats, puffed wheat, untoasted muesli, rice (basmati, brown or wild is best), pasta and wholegrain breads.
If it is highly coloured, has an enormous ingredient list, or is full of added sugar and fat, then it is not a wholefood option. This rule generally applies to all the following categories.
Any in their “picked from the tree/vine/bush” state
Same as fruit
Meat, Seafood and Chicken
Freshly killed and chopped. If it doesn’t look like it recently came from an animal, then it is too processed. Meat that is perfectly round, perfectly, square, freckled with different colours – is not a “wholefood”.
These include foods such as eggs, beans and legumes, soy products, and nuts
Ok, so tofu is highly processed soya beans but hey, it is still a good one to choose. As I said, not all processing is bad.
Beans and legumes such as kidney beans, lentils, and white beans etc out of the can or freshly soaked and cooked are great.
Nuts are another great food, but minimise those with added salt, sugar and oil.
Again, this is where some processing comes into play. However if it’s white or creamy coloured then it is as wholefood as you can get in the dairy section.
There are so many foods we could talk about but this gives you a quick “Cooks Tour” of what you need to know.
Eating foods that resemble their original state, provides you with the best chance of achieving a healthy, well-balanced and naturally delicious, way of eating.
You will reduce your fat, trans-fat and sugar intake without trying. You will limit your salt intake. Calories will be easier to control. All those lovely antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre will find their way into your body without you even thinking about it.
Of all the advice, you will ever receive about food – please heed this one.
Remember – WHOLEFOODS – make it your mantra!