Whole foods are an indispensable part of a healthy diet. However, do not get too excited when you think you have eaten or bought enough for a week. Here are some reasons why whole foods might not exactly mean healthy.
Vegetarian Does Not Mean Healthy
In a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers analyzed the eating habits of around 200,000 health care workers in over 20 years. They tried to find out if there was a substantial link between their eating habits and their likeliness of developing coronary heart disease. Not too surprisingly, these health professionals tried to stick to a plant-based diet. However, even amongst vegetarians, their eating habits differ drastically as well, some of them even appeared not to be as healthy as non-vegetarians.
They identified three main categories of vegetarian diets which were healthy plant-based centered, unhealthy plant-based and overall plant based diet. Of course, those who had the healthy plant based diet, which was centered on fruits, whole grains and vegetables were the least likely to develop heart disease while the unhealthy ones were the most likely.
Not All Plant Based Foods are Healthy
You can be eating a plant based diet while still being unhealthy. In this study, the diets of those who were considered unhealthy consisted mainly of refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta. Those who ate this way were shown to be even at a higher risk than non-vegetarians.
Plenty of research still shows that a plant based diet can win out every other eating plan, however, this has to be done correctly. What this study highlight is that it is important not to fall back on refined foods such as bread and pasta. If you are thinking about switching to a plant based diet, make sure to eat plenty of green leafy vegetables and whole-foods.
Not Everything is Actually Organic
The idea of doing your groceries somewhere health oriented might be very romantic, but not everything you see it is actually good for you. Being CCOF certified does not actually mean anything when it comes to how much organic produce they have to sell to you for them to get approved. Some say that regardless of where they try to shop, they are not able to find all of the organic produce that they need at a given time.
Regularly purchasing organic food is vital, especially if they appear on the dirty dozen list, a list of fruits and vegetables that have been recommended to be purchased as organic because they are very likely to contain high pesticide residue. Increased exposure to pesticides has been linked to many different birth defects, nerve damage, cancer and a lot of other diseases.
Be Careful About GMOs
When shopping whole foods, one classification you would surely want to avoid is GMOs. A lot of grocery staff are getting more knowledgeable about this and you can simply ask. However, there have been some inconsistencies in their communications as revealed in a recent tell all video. While most employees would say that their products do not contain GMOs, the truth is, around 20 to 30% actually have them.
GMOs have not been studied for their safety for humans before they have been approved for consumption. They also do not require any labeling in the United States. However, in a French study, it was shown that rats who were fed GMOs during their lifetime and exposed to pesticide developed tumors all over their bodies in their lifetime. Russia has already banned all GMO corn imports into their country and Europe is set to follow suit.
What You Should Eat
Cara Anselmo, New York based nutritionist and dietician, revealed that she always advises her clients whether or not they happen to be vegetarian to increase their intake of plant-based foods. She has also been consistent in telling them to cut back on red meat and refined carbohydrates.
You have to make sure that you get enough protein to keep your muscles satiated. Your digestive system works best when you have a good source of fiber, while your tissues and bones work the best when they get vitamins and minerals from food. When you eat a healthy plant-based diet composed of whole grains, fruits, protein, vegetable and healthy fats, you are able to keep yourself full and energized throughout the day.
When you have an organic, non-GMO and whole based food diet, you no longer would have to keep watching out if you get enough nutrients for the day. What do you think of an organic plant based diet? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.