As I was flipping through old fitness magazines, I saw an article in Muscle & Fitness called "Whole in One", which really talks about the importance of whole foods, and I will be referring to this article and using information from it a couple of times in this article.
A lot of guys on this site talk about the importance of whole foods everyday, but don't even realize it. Have you ever heard somebody tell you that you need to "eat clean?" I know I've said it a hundred times, and I have even had people email me and I would have to explain to them about what it means to 'eat clean'.
Ask some people on here what it means to eat clean, and they will say it means to the foods listed in the "common" column of the following table (see below). What they should be telling you is that eating clean is eating the healthier stuff in the "clean" column, etc.
|Eating Clean: Can You Spot The Difference?|
Although the normal person may not see the difference between the two categories of foods I just listed, the health conscious person does and realizes that whole foods are just plain better for your body. Other examples of whole foods are:
Benefits Of Whole Foods
Now, as your reading this, you're probably saying, "Okay, so you're telling me that whole foods are better for me. Well, why are they better for me? What do they do for me?" Well, I'm going to tell you! Here are just some of the benefits of eating whole foods:
- Decreased consumption of sugars, hydrogenated oils, sulfites, nitrates, and other undesirable additives commonly found in processed foods.
- You get more energy from your complex carb sources, so you can fuel your workouts and cardio sessions better.
- You get more vitamins and minerals in natural form.
- Your lean meat and fish protein sources have no added fats or preservatives.
- You get extra fluids from your fruits and veggies to combat dehydration.
- A proper balance of phytochemicals from fruits and veggies that enhance your immune system.
- Anticarcinogenic properties of phytochemicals found in fruits and veggies.
- Increased insoluble and soluble fibers.
As you can see, you get so many more benefits from eating whole foods instead of processed foods. Now you ask, "So, am I going to get a whole lot bigger and more muscular with whole foods?" The answer is only slightly. You won't see a major difference in size and strength with whole foods.
But what does happen is that you set a foundation of good health for your body. Now a lot of you are thinking that you are going to have to cut out all pizza, beer, and candy. Well... it is good to cut down on beer and candy as much as possible, but pizza can be a very healthy food - if you make it yourself and use the right ingredients. Instead of buying a pizza, make one with a pre-made crust topped with tomato sauce, low fat cheese, veggies, & fresh deli-sliced ham or turkey.
A lot of the time, people ask me if supplements are whole foods - and the answer is no! In fact, they are far from it.
"But they are full of nutrients, minerals, and all that other good stuff, Joe!" Well, yes, they do have a lot of good stuff in them for you, but they have been concentrated and processed into drink, bar, pill, or powder form.
The best way to use supplements, and the best way to reap all the benefits from them, is to use them in conjunction with a diet filled with whole foods and an exercise program.
Well, I hope you have learned something from this article and will either change the way you eat, or continue to eat the way you do (if you are already eating a majority of whole foods). And thanks for reading this article!
Train hard, and God bless!