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Eat more whole foods

What are whole foods?

Whole foods are foods that generally still resemble what they looked like when they were harvested, and are kept as closest to it’s natural state. They often have limited packaging, and haven’t been processed, or have only been processed by a small amount. Other ways of thinking about Whole Foods is to classify them as foods that your grandmother would recognise, foods that you can pronounce all of the names of the ingredients, and foods that have real ingredients, rather than ingredients that are synthetically made.


Why eat more whole foods?

As whole foods are generally less processed, or not processed at all, there are lots of benefits to eating more whole foods, including:

  • Higher nutrient content, especially fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, as these are often lost in processing

  • Less sugar, salt and fat, as these are often added in processing

  • Less preservatives and added colours and flavours


There are also other benefits:

  • The more whole foods you choose the fewer labels you will need to read (e.g. you don’t have to read the label for carrots or broccoli, or meats such as mince or chicken drumsticks)

  • Weight for weight they are often cheaper than more processed foods (e.g. an apple and a glass of water as a snack is cheaper than a packet of chips or a chocolate bar and iced coffee or soft drink)

  • Whole foods can sometimes even be free!! Grow your own fruit and vegetables, or become involved in a community garden- you also get free exercise, make new friends and get out of the house!

  • Breast milk for babies is the first whole food we are introduced to- if you choose to breastfeed you’re feeding your baby for free, and you know it’s healthy and nutritious


While whole foods are a better alternative than less ‘whole’ foods are (e.g. banana rather than a slice of banana cake), these other foods can be included in moderation as part of a healthy and balanced diet.



Examples of Whole Foods

Examples of whole foods include:

  • Multigrain bread with seeds and grains rather than white bread, or breakfast cereals targeted at children

  • Milk and yogurt rather than ice-cream and dairy desserts

  • Lean steak, chops and chicken fillets rather than hot dogs and hamburger patties

  • Whole vegetables and fruit (i.e. an apple rather than an apple pie)