We live in a non-stop world these days. By the time you commute to and from work, pick up the kids, run those errands, try to fit in a workout, then you have to fix dinner. By that time, it’s really easy to pick up take-out or run through a fast food joint because hey, who has the time to cook healthy?
It seems as though most people are living off of chips, candy bars, and soda because we feel it’s saving us time. But what does it cost us? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Obesity can cause Heart Disease, Diabetes, Stroke, and even some types of cancer.”
Not only does processed food cause us adverse health conditions, but they can also be terrible for your budget. In 2008, the estimated medical cost for obesity was a whopping $147 billion in the United States alone.
If you look at labels when you shop, you will notice a vast number of added flavors, sugars, and chemical additives, to name a few. There are a variety of types of “processed foods.” However, high processed foods are considered to be things like cereals, sugary drinks, frozen dinners, candy, chips, and so on.
Processed foods are created to stimulate dopamine, which makes us crave them. So, if you feel a short term “good” feeling after indulging in a sugary treat, it’s literally in your mind. These foods are highly addictive, making it harder to cut them out of your diet.
Heavily processed foods digest quicker, which means your body doesn’t burn calories like it does when you eat whole foods. This causes faster weight gain and slower weight loss.
Making the switch to whole foods may be difficult at first, but you will feel better physically and mentally with the powerful nutrient foods you will consume. Fruits, Vegetables, Whole Grains, Legumes, Nuts, and Seeds are delicious and super nutritious.
These foods are packed with nutrients such as Fiber, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Magnesium, Calcium, and much more. Eating a plant-based whole food diet can be majorly beneficial to your health.
Studies show that diets based on whole foods such as the Mediterranean Diet and Vegetarian Diet have had many health benefits such as:
- Better Digestion
- Balanced Blood Sugar
- Decreased Inflammation
- Increased Energy
Here is a quick look at what yummy foods you will eat on the Mediterranean Diet:
- Fruits & Vegetables
- Healthy Fats
- Whole Grains
- Yogurt & Cheeses
- Herbs & Spices
- Occasional Red Meat/Chicken
It’s best to think of a Whole Food diet as a lifestyle. Sometimes it’s easier to make small daily changes and work into a new plan rather than going all in at once. You can start by trading a sugary snack for a fresh piece of fruit — snack on raw vegetables and cheese instead of chips, or fried foods.
You’d be surprised at how much better you will feel just by applying these small changes to your diet.
When changing your eating habits, it’s easy to slip into the “diet” mentality. We all want instant results, but learning to eat wholesome foods is a lifetime commitment. If you do something for a short time, you will not give yourself enough time to see the amazing benefits from your healthy habit.
Eating healthy whole foods doesn’t mean it has to be boring by any means. There are tons of delicious recipes on Pinterest to help add flair to your daily meals.
Keep a tracker and health journal to track your habits and progress. You can even find a friend that is trying to get healthy too and use the buddy system. It’s much easier to stick with something when you have someone cheering you on!