We all know the cliché: There’s some kind of new-fangled diet information being touted every single day. But, even under a barrage of click-bait article titles, there are some constants in the world of healthy eating. For example, choosing whole foods never goes out of style!
What is a whole foods diet?
The primary qualities of “whole foods” include:
- Minimal processing
- Minimal refining
The simplest way to see it is not buying food that comes in a box, can, or other packages. As you’ll soon see, fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, eggs, and bivalves are a great place to start.
Why choose a whole foods diet?
It can help reduce the chances of getting certain diseases. From heart disease to cancer to diabetes, there is a dietary component. While you’ll need input from a nutritionist or dietician, whole food is a great place to start in the meantime.
It may reverse the impact of other diseases
Studies have shown that changes in our eating habits can reduce symptoms and/or reverse the advance of some conditions. Consult your physician for more information.
It will help you maintain a healthy weight for you
Eliminating the processed “junk” is a great way to choose quality calories. Your body can more efficiently use these nutrients. Combined with physical activity, this is a blueprint for maintaining a healthy weight.
You will be helping to keep the environment less toxic
The fewer chemicals and additives, the less pollution. Plus, processed foods tend to come in lots of packaging. The more we go back to basics, the healthier it is. This goes for us and the planet!
6 Ways (of many!) to Jumpstart Your Diet with Whole Foods
Seasonal fruits are always best but don’t forget those tasty choices we often forget are fruits, e.g.
- Corn kernels
- Sunflower seeds
This is where you can really focus on your five-servings-a-day mission. Go for variety. Try all the different colors. But, when in doubt, think dark green. The darker, the better.
We’re talking beans, peas, lentils, and peanuts. From tofu to chickpeas to pecans to lima beans and beyond—legumes pack a nutritional punch.
The key is unprocessed. For example, rice is a much better choice than pasta. But don’t just settle for rice. Why not challenge yourself? Get adventurous and experiment with millet, barley, couscous, Kamut, etc.
What’s a bivalve, you ask? For starters, we have clams, mussels, oysters, and scallops. Teeming with nutrients, bivalves are truly a whole food in that we eat the whole animal.
6. Pasture-raised eggs
Yes, this is a nutritional powerhouse. But not all eggs are created equal. Choosing, free-range and organic and pasture-raised ensures that the hens had exercise, freedom, and a natural foraging diet. The result is an egg unlike those from a factory farm setting.
A few places to find healthy whole foods in Oakland
- Oakland-Grand Lake Farmers Market
- Old Oakland Farmers’ Market
- Jack London Square Farmers Market
- Temescal Farmer’s Market
- Montclair Farmers’ Market
- Kaiser Hospital Farmer’s Market
- Urban Village Farmers’ Market Association
- Sprouts Farmers Market
For some, there are no “miracle cures” in terms of diet. Eating issues and disorders are a growing problem and require professional help. Switching to a whole foods-based eating style is crucial. But to address the emotional components of your diet, you can connect with a therapist. You’ll discover root causes and identify patterns. From there, you’ll work together to create a plan that works specifically for you.