1. Home
  2. Health & Lifestyle

Try Whole Foods & Minimally Processed Diets for a Healthier You

Whole foods and minimally processed foods refer to food items that are processed or refined as little as possible and are also free from additives, artificial substances, and preservatives.

Aarushi Chadha
In addition to promoting our overall physical health, whole foods also help nourish and protect our skin from within

Whole foods, unprocessed foods, or minimally processed foods are foods that have been slightly altered for the purpose of preservation but the nutritional content of the food has not substantially changed during the refinement process. For instance, whole foods or minimally processed foods go through the process of cleaning, removal of inedible or unwanted parts, and grinded, refrigerated, pasteurized, fermented, frozen, and vacuum-sealed.

Sirens shouldn’t start going off in your head when you hear the term ‘processed foods’ because not all processing is bad. Minimally processed foods are healthy foods that are close to their natural state. Whereas in ultra-processed foods, less beneficial ingredients such as salt, sugar, preservatives, and additives are added which reduces the vitamins and minerals present in the food.

Effects of processed food on our body:

Other than fewer nutrients, processed foods are also bad because they have a high sugar content that makes us crave other similar processed meals and snacks. And this leads to weight gain. Consuming processed foods put people at risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease also known as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. Eating highly processed foods that are high in fat and sodium content puts people at risk of developing metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that occur together and increase our risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

Let us take a look at the benefits of whole foods and minimally processed foods:

1. High in nutrients- Minimally processed or unprocessed whole foods are full of vital vitamins and minerals, which are required for optimal functioning of the body. For instance, eggs are a great source of protein and healthy fats which are essential for proper brain function. Orange slices are a great source of vitamin C, which is an essential nutrient that promotes healthy clean skin and reduces oxidative stress by removing free radicals from the blood.

2. Low in sugar- Processed foods tend to be high in added simple sugars, which increase our risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. On the other hand, minimally processed food tends to be lower in added sugar. Plus, the natural sugars present in whole foods are accompanied by water and fibre, which helps control blood sugar levels and does not cause a drastic spike in energy levels.

3. Healthy fats- Processed foods are rich in unhealthy fats such as trans fats and saturated fats, that can increase LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol levels in our blood. However, minimally processed animal and plant foods are a rich source of monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, which are incredibly healthy and crucial for proper brain function. Healthy fats are essential to a balanced nutritious diet, therefore, do not give into the diet fads that suggest all fats are bad.

4. High in fibre- Fibre is an incredibly important part of our diet. Whole foods that are rich in fibre reduce the risk of colon cancer and promote blood sugar control as our body takes longer to break down fibre-rich food. Fibre stimulates our intestines and promotes regular bowel movement. Fibre’s present in the digestive tract reduces our body’s cholesterol absorption. It also keeps us full for longer, thereby, promoting a healthy weight.

6.Promotes healthy skin- In addition to promoting our overall physical health, whole foods also help nourish and protect our skin from within. Studies show that eating foods such as avocadoes, bananas, oranges, olive oil, vegetables, and beans protects the skin from sun damage, helps reduce wrinkles and fine lines by promoting the production of collagen, and even prevents acne, which can be caused by eating highly processed foods.

Take this quiz on World Meteorological Day to check your knowledge about meteorology! Take a quiz
Share your comments

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters