Eating a whole foods plant-based diet is one of the healthiest choices you can make. If you aren’t ready to take that leap do your best to consume as many foods as possible in their natural form. More and more studies are linking processed foods to health issues including an increased risk of disease and mortality.
Americans are consuming more and more processed foods such as packaged snacks, soft drinks, ready-made meals, and sugary cereals, which contain added flavors, colors, sweeteners, emulsifiers, and other non-food ingredients.
Eating these foods can lead to an increase in the rate of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. On the flip side, higher consumption of unprocessed or minimally processed foods is associated with lower risks of all reported disease.
Consumption of processed foods, more than four servings daily, was associated with an increase in mortality. People who consume the most processed foods tend to eat fewer fruits and vegetables and more fast food, fried foods, processed meats, and sugary beverages. They are also more prone to have a higher average BMI (Body Mass Index), be sedentary, smoke, and binge-watch TV.
There are harmful effects of consuming processed foods and many benefits of eating minimally processed and whole foods, such as those eaten on a whole-food plant-based diet.
The "whole-food" part of whole food plant-based is becoming increasingly critical. Steer your grocery cart away from packaged foods like prepared and quick meal alternatives and load up on real foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains instead.
Take a proactive approach to your health! One way to do that is to make conscious decisions about what you eat and use to fuel your body. A few things you can do are: plan ahead for meals, buy pre-chopped or frozen vegetables and fruit, and minimize sugar, sodium and oil. You’ll feel better, have more energy and potentially avoid or reverse disease.