Sunday, July 21, 2013
Article # 525. Why Healthy Food Makes You Slim
People who eat healthy, mostly unprocessed foods, including fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (lentils, dry beans and peas), and limited amounts of lean animal protein (reduced-fat dairy, fish, chicken, and lean cuts of other meats), often find that they can eat as much as they want without gaining weight. If they are switching from a diet containing lots of processed foods, they find that they can eat more yet consume fewer calories -- and they lose weight.
Because natural fruits, vegetables and whole grains are high in complex carbohydrates and fiber, they are absorbed slowly and satisfy our feelings of hunger. Heavily processed foods, on the other hand, are not only low in nutritional value, but they don't make us feel satisfied so we eat more of them. They are made from refined ingredients that are so tasteless they require large amounts of salt, sugar, fat, and high-priced advertising to make them attractive.
Perhaps our biggest nutritional mistake has been turning away from foods in their natural state. We have replaced them with processed foods that have been modified to last longer, be easier to manufacture and distribute, and be more convenient to store and use.
Take apple juice as an example. Even the simple act of removing the pulp to make apple juice detracts from its value for both health and weight loss. A medium size apple contains just 72 calories, and over 3 grams of fiber, while 8 fl oz of apple juice contains 120 calories and no fiber at all. And we're just talking about pure, "healthy" apple juice.
· Natural foods are nutritious and contain much of what is good for us, including vitamins and minerals, fibre, the cancer-fighting antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables, and the sustained energy provided by whole grains and complex carbohydrates. They reduce our risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Because of their nutrient and fiber content, natural foods are healthy for us and help keep us slim.
· Heavily processed foods are substantially less nutritious and contain much of what is not good for us, including sodium, preservatives, sugars, saturated fats and trans fats. The most nutritious part of whole grains is the outer cover, the part that is removed to make white flour and white rice.
Because of their lack of nutrient and fiber content, and all their additives, heavily processed foods can be unhealthy for us and help us gain weight.
Eat healthy, natural foods with a high ratio of nutrients to calories and you will not be fat and you will not go hungry. You will be healthier, too.