Promote Health Consulting Blog
Today I''ll continue my Top 10 Healthy Habits series with habit #5:
Eat more whole foods, and fewer packaged foods.
There are a lot of reasons to eat more whole foods, and each of these could be a post in itself... or an entire book! I highly recommend the books In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan and Food Matters by Mark Bittman for more detailed discussion.
Here''s the bottom line as I see it: eating whole foods is healthier for us as individuals, costs less, and is more environmentally sustainable than eating processed, packaged foods. It also increases the social and spiritual "nourishment" of food, cooking, and eating.
Buy and consume foods as close to their natural state as possible. Some people choose a raw foods diet, which might be the ultimate un-processed diet, but I don''t think that''s necessarily the best choice for everyone. A certain amount of cooking and processing of foods (such as pasteurization of milk) contributes to food safety, digestibility, and palatability.
Isn''t it really time-consuming to eat whole foods?
It can be, depending on how far you go with it: there''s a broad spectrum of how far you might choose to take these changes. Yes, it would be a full-time job to hunt, gather, and grow all of our food, and that''s not what I''m suggesting. With a little planning, each of us can eat more whole foods without going completely off the grid.
How can I make it easy?
Here are a few tips:
- Next time you go grocery shopping, look at the packages of food in your cart. Choose one item that you can make at home, eliminate, or substitute with a less-processed alternative.
- It does take planning. If you don''t plan ahead, you will grab something in a hurry which is usually more processed.
- Read labels. Longer ingredient lists are generally more processed than shorter ingredient lists. Ingredients which aren''t identifiable as foods indicate a more processed food. When you do choose a packaged food, the ingredient list should sound like a recipe.
- Try on a new perspective in which cooking is an opportunity to create a nourishing experience for yourself and your family, rather than a necessary evil. Stirring risotto can be a relaxing and meditative experience if you come from that perspective! Making pizza from scratch can be a really fun family activity which is a great substitute for ordering in. (Sign up for my newsletter to receive a recipe for pizza dough in the next edition!)
What packaged food will you eliminate from your shopping cart this week?
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