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Making Sense of Foods

Understanding “Whole Foods:”Advantages of Whole Plant Foods

Numerous studies have demonstrated the health advantages of a diet based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes left in as natural a state as possible.

These advantages include:

Processed Foods

Many foods are processed in some way before they reach our plates. Some  need some processing to be edible and nutritious. Imagine chewing on a raw artichoke or dried kidney beans. Processing of foods can also slow spoilage and enable easy storage. Freezing the abundance of fruits and vegetables after the summer’s harvest allows people to continue to have fruits and vegetables available into the winter.

However, highly processed foods such as potato chips, candy, sodas, hotdogs and snack pastries, pancake mixes, and even many breakfast cereals lack the health benefits of whole foods, such as potatoes, carrots and apples. Heavy processing often depletes or removes health–giving nutrients and concentrates fat, salt, and sugar.

Consider some of these reasons to favor unprocessed foods:

 


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