Choosing whole foods is a simple way to ensure that what you eat is micronutrient dense and free of unnecessary additives. A "whole food" is any food in its most essential, pure, delicious and basic form: an asparagus spear, a lemon, a scoop of quinoa, or a fillet of salmon. Whole foods are the best ingredients for creating tasty and healthy meals, and, diets loaded with whole and unrefined foods may help keep you healthy.
- Choose whole, fresh, natural, organic, local, seasonal, unrefined and unprocessed foods.
- Eliminate artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, sweeteners and hydrogenated fats from your diet.
No matter what type of diet you follow — including those that incorporate dairy, meat and/or seafood — begin to reconfigure your plate so that the majority of your meal is made from an abundance of plant-based foods. When you eat more plants — like raw and cooked vegetables, fruits, legumes and beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains — you're helping your body get the key micronutrients it needs to function at its best.
- Emphasize plant-based foods, no matter what type of diet you generally follow.
- Eat a colorful variety of plants to ensure you're getting the best nutrients for your body, which leads to feeling satisfied.
Get your healthy fats by eating whole plant-based foods like nuts, seeds and avocados. Then, work to minimize (or eliminate) the amounts of extracted oils and processed fats you cook with on a daily basis.
- Choose whole foods (nuts, seeds, avocados) when looking for a micronutrient dense source of healthy fats.
- Minimize or eliminate extracted oils and processed fats (like margarine).
- Build your meals around recipes that emphasize plant-based foods.
- Choose foods rich in micronutrients when compared to total caloric content.