“Red wine is better than white wine!”
“Spinach is better than romaine!”
“GRAINS ARE EVIL!!”
Ever feel like good nutrition is just too complicated?
If you’re overwhelmed, try this ONE habit:
Eat mostly (or at least more) minimally-processed foods.
Most people would define this as choosing foods close to how they're found in nature. Whole foods—sweet potatoes, broccoli, chicken, an apple—are a great example of this.
Reason #1: The greater the degree of processing, the more likely a food has:
👉Lost nutrition (fiber, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients)
👉Gained additives (sugar and/or refined starch, unhealthy fats, sodium, preservatives, and fillers)
Reason #2: Diets rich in minimally-processed foods are linked to lower rates of heart disease, cancer, depression, and type 2 diabetes.
Reason #3: Because minimally-processed foods also tend to be richer in fiber and protein, and lower in calories per volume, these foods make it easier for you to manage your calorie intake.
Minimally-processed foods are more nutritious, improve health outcomes, and help you regulate your appetite.
There’s just one caveat:
It’s REALLY hard to eat ONLY whole foods.
So, think of foods on a continuum.
As with most things, processing isn’t binary: Foods aren’t 100 PERCENT FAKE or FRESH-FROM-THE-DIRT (or animal).
Most are somewhere in between.
This is why we encourage minimally-processed foods versus only limiting yourself to whole foods.
Look at the foods you’re currently eating, and just try to move along the continuum, choosing foods that are slightly less processed than what you’d usually eat.
Plus, some processed foods are awesome.
Whey protein powder.
Those little emergency to-go packets of nut butter you keep in your glove compartment. (Snack attacks are REAL.)
Also: Cooking, chopping, and blending are all forms of processing.
So it’s not that processing is “bad.”
It’s just that ultra processed foods—star-shaped cereal puffs, electric blue energy drinks, and pretty much anything that’s shelf-stable for over a year—are usually specifically engineered to make these foods too delicious, and thus easy to overeat.