What Are Whole Foods?
Whole or real foods are foods found in their most natural state. They are rich in nutrients (vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants). Whole foods have a very small, if any, ingredient list, such as an apple. Eating a diet rich in whole foods will help to lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.
Examples of Whole Foods
- Nuts and seeds
What Are Highly Processed Foods?
Highly processed foods are foods that are refined or altered out of their natural state. They’re also typically:
- Higher in sugar, salt, and fat
- Made from refined ingredients and artificial substances
- Made up of ingredients that are hard to pronounce
- Low in nutrients
Nearly 90 percent of added sugars in the American diet come from highly processed foods. Eating a lot of added sugar raises your risk for type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. It can also contribute to weight gain.
In addition, these foods are typically low in fiber and nutrients. So you may be eating a lot of calories but not getting the nutrition you need.
Examples of Highly Processed Foods
- Cakes, cookies, and pies
- Frozen pizzas and entrées
- Salty snacks, such as crackers
- Soft drinks
- Sugary cereals
- White bread
- And more