Should You Eat Whole Foods Over Refined
Should you eat whole foods over refined to help improve our health is today’s post discussion.
When it comes to our nutrition and diets, there is so much information floating around about the best diets, how much food to eat, and which foods to eat, that it may seem overwhelming at times. We all know that spinach would be a better option to eat than potato chips, but in recent years there has become more of a focus on the quality of the food to eat rather than which food to eat.
Choosing to eat spinach instead of potato chips would be the healthier option but is it still a healthy option if it comes from a can, frozen, or refined? This has become a tricky question that has many confused on what would be the best and healthiest option.
Well, Should You Eat Whole Foods Over Refined?
First, we need to understand what are some of these key terms. When speaking of whole foods, it is a food that has not had its natural state changed in any way. For example, vegetables that are grown without the use of any modification, just like you picked them from the ground itself.
This can also refer to meat or grains even though they may be packaged or cut and put in a package, there has been no chemicals or preservatives used to alter the foods. This can be hard to determine sometimes, but essentially the only real way of knowing would be growing and picking foods yourself.
On the other hand, a refined food is a food that has been altered or some aspect of it removed. This should not be confused with what processed foods are. A processed food in comparison is a food that has had nothing taken away and essentially is just prepared for some purpose, for example flour that was made from whole grain, or fresh orange juice that was prepared from fresh oranges. Refined food has had a process that has changed the food itself, such as the difference that happens when rice is converted from brown to white.
A very important quality to think about when considering refined foods, is that refined does not refer to improved or better, it is often a refining process that will be removing key nutrients. A great example would be white flour that was made from whole grain. It will undergoes a process that removes much of the fiber content, thus it is not as healthy or nutritionally dense as brown rice flour, as an example.
True, not all refined foods are bad. When it comes to dried fruits, they are processed with the water removed but are not necessarily bad for you. Another example is plain popcorn. It is refined because the heat that is used to cook it changes its structure. This doesn’t make it necessarily unhealthy.
One of the things you can do really look into any food that is considered refined or may be refined that you may want to eat. There are many refined foods that have little to no nutritional value and have been altered in the process leaving no nutritional benefit. This includes products like refined pasta, white rice, or white bread as the grains that are used to create these products have been altered for preservation and lost just about all of their original density.
Another great example would be fruit juices. Fruit juices are processed so they can taste sweeter and have a shelf life that is longer. Most of these juices, whether it be cranberry juice, apple juice or many other juices have been altered and lost any actual benefit you would have gotten from the actual fruits.
Thus, there is no way apple juice is just as good as eating apples. Other examples that are easier to identify are things like potato chips which have clearly been changed from the original potatoes. Fried chicken tenders of course is certainly refined from what they originally were.
In a perfect world of nutrition, eating foods that are straight from the farm to table would be the ideal situation. That is the best way to get all the nutritional value of the food and get the best taste.
However, if you really need to shop for some refined foods just do your homework and determine if the refined process has made the food worse and if there really is any nutritional value to eating it. Again eating the best and healthiest food possible will in the long run leave you felling better and living a healthier life.
This post is for informational purposes only so should you eat whole foods over refined is going to be a decision that with doing your homework and speaking with your doctor will help you make the right choice for you.