Perhaps one of the most overlooked yet integral components of a healthy lifestyle is the importance of eating healthy. People often look at what they eat as something separate from the importance of exercise and then they can become confused as to which is more important. However, when you stop and think about it, the two go hand in hand. Just because you are taking supplements or following a healthy diet, does not mean that you have eliminated the need to exercise.
Diet and exercise should always form an important part of your overall health regimen, but the importance of healthy eating should never be overlooked. Diet is extremely important as it impacts your nutrient absorption rates, your energy levels, and your overall health. Nutritional guidelines are in place for Americans to follow to ensure they are getting all of the nutrients that they need; however, eating healthy foods and engaging in a healthy lifestyle does not make up for other factors such as not getting enough sleep or not getting enough water.
One of the reasons that the importance of eating healthy is often overlooked is because people do not find it difficult to find good quality food. This does not mean that there are no good foods out there. In fact, it is just that many times we are so full of excess fat and sugar that we don’t recognize that a meal that looks healthy can still have dozens of calories. The best way to avoid this is to consume meals at regular intervals throughout the day, but also to eat several small, nutritious snacks throughout the day so that your body is always filled with nutritious foods and is always functioning at its optimum level.
What Are Whole Foods?
Simply put, whole foods aren’t processed or adapted at all. Examples include whole-grain cereals, fresh produce, lean meats, unprocessed fruits, and veggies. Just think, what if whole foods didn’t need to say ‘whole’ on the label? If you can imagine a world where everything was naturally grown, we could live many years with very little food that was processed. So why do processed foods still have a big market?
Because many people are confused by the term “whole foods” and think that it is something that only has to do with whole grains and legumes. While it is true that whole-grain products like bread, pasta, and whole-grains such as oats are whole, these items are usually only made up of flour, salt, and water. In other words, they are lacking in ‘book’ meaning!1
Whole foods consist of different types of whole plant foods, including legumes (like black beans), nuts, seeds (sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and pinto beans), vegetables (sweet potatoes, avocados, carrots, cucumbers, peppers), and fruits (apples, berries, cantaloupe, kale, melons). For example, whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, oat bran, and amaranth are rich in B vitamins (inositol, biotin, folic acid), iron, magnesium, fiber, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. Legumes like black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, and garbanzo beans are rich in protein (especially lysine, an amino acid that prevents muscle protein breakdown and is essential for maintaining the intestinal lining).2 Vegetables, nuts, and fruits are full of antioxidants that help rid the body of dangerous free radicals that cause many diseases including cancer.
What Are High Protein Whole Foods?
These are foods that contain high levels of protein, yet low in fat and sodium. This is in stark contrast to the typical high-protein diets that have lower levels of proteins and higher levels of fats. It is these lower levels of fats and sodium that are responsible for high cholesterol levels and all the associated heart problems.3
The great thing about protein is that you can eat large amounts of it and not suffer from any of the health problems related to consuming too much of it. Because the fat content is low, there is no need to worry about your arteries clogging up like the high-protein diets would. Instead, you will notice that your weight will start to improve because muscles burn more calories per day than fat.4
One of the best ways to find out what high-protein whole foods? Simply look around at your local grocery store and see what new additions they are offering in terms of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and beans. By adding more whole grains and other natural alternatives to your diet, you will notice that your body will start to get used to them and you will not crave high protein foods as much. This will also help to eliminate the craving that many people have when it comes to high protein foods.
What Are the Benefits of Eating Whole Foods?
In this modern age, we are constantly bombarded with messages that eating unhealthy is what will keep us healthy. While it’s true that you need some carbohydrates and fat in your diet to keep your body functioning properly, there are many other benefits of whole foods that should be obvious to even the most casual observer. A healthy diet consists of a variety of whole foods, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. If you are not consciously eating a wide variety of healthy foods on a regular basis, you are missing out on one of the most important sources of nutrients for good health.5
The benefits of eating whole foods go far beyond the simple satisfaction of hunger. Whole grains are generally low in calories, which keeps the weight off and reduces the risk of developing health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease. Fresh fruits and vegetables have been found to be some of the most powerful antioxidants available. The antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables may help prevent cancer and prevent other diseases, as well.6
Eating a variety of whole foods helps maintain a healthy balance in your diet. Many people eat a single type of meat or animal protein, without giving any thought to the other components of the diet. Whole grains and vegetables provide protein, which is needed to build muscle and maintain a healthy weight. When you eat whole grains, you also get fiber, another component of a balanced diet. The fiber is helpful in maintaining regular bowel movements and is key to constipation relief. The benefits of whole-grain foods go far beyond simple relief from pain and hunger, however.
One of the main benefits of whole foods is that they contain all eight of the macronutrients – fiber, iron, zinc, copper, potassium, vitamin A and E, phosphorus, and selenium. None of these vitamins is found in refined foods, which is why whole foods are such a big help with heart health. They also contain almost all of the B vitamins – thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, and folate. They also contain one-half of the vitamin C needed to fight infections, one-half of the Vitamin D needed to maintain healthy bones and teeth, and nearly a quarter of the Vitamin B within a daily dose of food. The benefits of whole foods go far beyond simply eating a varied diet and avoiding junk food, though.
The benefits of whole foods extend beyond what is eaten on a daily basis. In addition to helping to maintain balance in the body, whole foods provide a number of positive side effects. They may help to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease, promote weight loss and lower cholesterol, improve antioxidant levels and reduce the risk of cancer, and reduce the risk of a host of other diseases as well. This last benefit is especially important since the disease process and complications that come along with some types of cancer can be exacerbated by poor diet.
What Is the Best High Protein Whole Foods?
What are the best high-protein whole foods? Protein is essential to a healthy and varied diet – not only in the formation of muscle but also in proper digestion. When a person consumes too much protein in one meal, it is hard for the body to absorb all of the calories and nutrients in that particular meal. And over time, the body will begin to crave that protein and begin to tap into its reserves for energy.7
For this reason, it is important to consume healthy proteins at regular intervals in order to meet protein requirements. The trick is finding high-protein snacks that still have plenty of nutrition while also being convenient. Unfortunately, many high-protein snack bars and other foods tend to be quite boring, and people do not often feel satisfied after eating them. Fortunately, there are many options available today in the form of high-protein cookies, bars, and bread.8
What are the best high-protein whole foods? There are dozens of excellent options. High-fiber foods such as whole-grain bread and cereals make excellent breakfast choices. They also provide an excellent level of dietary fiber to help keep the digestive tract moving along and contribute to regular bowel movements.
By paying attention to the ingredients, you will be able to find products that contain real, whole-food ingredients. Be sure to read the label carefully so that you know exactly what you are putting into your body. Once you learn how to choose and prepare these healthy proteins, you’ll be on your way to a healthier, happier lifestyle.
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1 “Why Choose Whole Foods? – Allplants.” https://allplants.com/blog/lifestyle/why-choose-whole-foods Accessed 14 Sep. 2021.
2 “Whole Foods Diet: Pros, Cons, Meal Plans, and Shopping Lists.” 30 Jun. 2021, https://www.verywellfit.com/what-is-a-whole-foods-diet-2241974 Accessed 14 Sep. 2021.
3 “How To Add More Whole Food Protein To Your Diet And Why It ….” https://blog.perfectsnacks.com/add-more-whole-food-protein-diet/ Accessed 14 Sep. 2021.
4 “4 Whole Food Proteins To Add To Your Diet Today | Perfect Snacks.” https://blog.perfectsnacks.com/4-whole-food-proteins-to-try/ Accessed 14 Sep. 2021.
5 “21 Reasons to Eat Real Food – Healthline.” 19 May. 2021, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/21-reasons-to-eat-real-food Accessed 14 Sep. 2021.
6 “Why are whole foods good for you? | HCF.” https://www.hcf.com.au/health-agenda/food-diet/nutrition/what-are-wholefoods Accessed 14 Sep. 2021.
7 “Top Sources of Vegetarian Protein | Whole Foods Market.” https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/special-diets/top-sources-vegetarian-protein Accessed 14 Sep. 2021.
8 “8 High-Protein Foods to Reach for (Dietitian Approved) – Cleveland ….” 19 Nov. 2019, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/8-high-protein-foods-to-reach-for-dietitian-approved/ Accessed 14 Sep. 2021.