We all know that we should be eating healthier, but what does that even mean? One of the best things you can do for your body is to eat whole foods. Whole foods are foods that are as close to nature as possible, without added chemicals, processing, and artificial sweeteners. In this article, we’ll be discussing why whole foods are so important to our health and how we can all incorporate more of them into our diets.
Chemicals and Pesticides in Foods:
Chemicals and pesticides are like the unwanted guests that somehow always show up at the party – but in this case, they’re showing up in our food! These pesky additives sneak their way into our produce and snacks through various sources, from pesticides used to ward off insects, to chemicals added for flavor or preservation. And let’s face it, no one wants a side of organophosphates with their salad, are we right? Studies have shown that these baddies can negatively impact our nervous systems and even lead to health issues like cancer, infertility, and more (1). So, if you want to give your body a break from all the toxic overload, choose whole foods as much as possible and reduce your exposure to these unwelcome guests.
Oh by the way – you’re probably like ‘what the heck is an organophosphate?’ Well, friend, they are a type of chemical made by humans that poison insects and mammals – and guess what? Humans are mammals too.
Additional Food Processing:
Let’s face it, we all love a good processed snack every now and then – but did you know that those artificial flavorings and preservatives can be a real party pooper for our health? Studies have shown that some of these sneaky additives are actually directly linked to chronic disease. Take high fructose corn syrup for example, a study done in 2019 found that consuming high levels of this stuff is linked with multiple health issues such as obesity, diabetes, and liver disorders, and the lack of regulation in fructose metabolism (2). So, if you want to keep your body feeling like the life of the party, ditch the processed stuff and go for whole, unprocessed foods instead!
Artificial Sweeteners and Preservatives:
Remember those unwanted party guests? Artificial sweeteners and preservatives are similar, but let’s call them the clingy ex you just can’t seem to shake off – they’re bad news for our health, and they just keep showing up! Not only do these sneaky additives trick our taste buds into thinking we’re eating something delicious, but they can also be downright harmful. which are continuously being linked to weight gain, tumors, cancer, and other health hazards (3). So next time, you see a sugar-free option that’s super low in calories (and seems a little too-good-to-be-true), check in with the nutrition label to make sure it doesn’t contain any of these harmful artificial, wannabes. We could give you our list of sweeteners to avoid, but that may be a bit overwhelming because there are SO many – if you do want that though, don’t be afraid to ask your Betr Coach! For now, we’ll give you some red flags that will tell you to double check that label:
- Sugar-Free or Low Sugar
- Zero Calories or Low Calorie Food
- Contains sugar alcohol
- Artificially sweetened
- Naturally sweetened or sweetened with natural compounds (this one SOUNDS good but companies can be sneaky)
What do we recommend? Stevia, Monk Fruit (100% only, no erythritol), or local honey! Just remember, even these should be consumed in moderation. If you want to go to town on something sweet, opt for whole, organic options like apples, strawberries, oranges, and other fruits.
Pro Tip: Artificial sweeteners, preservatives, chemicals and pesticides aren’t just found in foods. They can also be found in your supplements and beauty products. That’s why Betr got into the supplement and skincare industry – we want to provide you with products that you can trust – check out our internal health and skin & body collections for more info.
When it comes to grocery shopping for your meals, it’s important to consider whether or not going organic is worth the extra cost – and that means taking into account that even the “fresh” foods at your local grocery store could have processed and/or un-naturally preserved ingredients lurking in them! While organic produce does tend to be more expensive than its non-organic counterparts, there are some tradeoffs that may make going organic worth it in the end. One way this has been measured is by looking at pesticide excretion – these studies have consistently demonstrated a reduction in urinary pesticide metabolites with an organic diet Research suggests that eating organic food may have health benefits, including reduced incidences of metabolic syndrome, high BMI, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, infertility, birth defects, and allergic sensitization, otitis media and pre-eclampsia. Additionally, eating organic foods is often linked to healthier dietary practices and lower levels of obesity (4).
In conclusion, if you want to take control of your health and feel your best, it’s important to start incorporating more whole foods into your diet. By avoiding chemicals and pesticides, additional food processing, and artificial sweeteners, you can give your body the nutrients and energy it needs to thrive. So next time you’re grocery shopping, try to focus on the organic fruits, vegetables, meats and proteins – and if you’re picking something else out, double check the label. As always, remember, it’s about being Betr, not perfect. Don’t stress everything all at once – replacing just a few of your habits with whole foods can still make a difference.
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