Wholesome food is a food product that is appreciated by the body for its ability to contribute to keeping you healthy.
What are Wholesome foods?
Wholesome food, refers to products that are natural and as they come. There are no added products and they come as they are, for example fruits and vegetables. Wholesome foods are food products that have not been processed, refined or have had ingredients added to them.
Healthy Habit suggests that when you want to think of Wholesome foods, think of products that exist in nature, such as potatoes, fish and carrots. Further examples of what constitutes a wholesome food product is:
- Meat, Fish and Poultry
- All Fruit and Vegetables
- Nuts and Seeds (unsalted)
- Grains, Wholegrain rice, quinoa and oats
- Variety beans
Research suggests that eating foods as close to their natural forms as you can possibly get them is great for your health and wellbeing. When food is processed, the healthy nutrients and qualities that are present are often stripped and replaced with much less healthy and sometimes damaging products.
By eating wholesome foods, you are able to gain the nutrients that so many people miss out on getting as they substitute wholesome food for processed. The nutrients, such as Vitamin C, A and fibre, are not consumed as much as we should and eating wholesomely can ensure that you are getting the right amount of nutrients needed to keep you healthy.
How to bring wholesome foods into my diet?
There are many ways that you can start to incorporate wholesome foods into your diet, but for some, this might not be as easy as you think. However, there are some slow ways that you might be able to slowly introduce them into your diet.
Start with breakfast
Breakfast is arguably the most important meal of the day. It sets you up with the energy needed for the day and many of us will choose a sugary cereal or a processed breakfast snack. Instead, try having fruit or oats as an alternative.
Exchange your unhealthy snacks
If you are snacking throughout the day, but you are eating options such as snack bars, crisps and chocolate, then substitute these for a healthy handful of nuts or instead make a homemade smoothie.
Swap deli meat for freshly cooked meats
Instead of using processed meats from a deli, try cooking a fresh chicken breast and using that instead. This can be used for wholegrain bread sandwiches and so forth. If you are wanting to add other wholesome foods with the chicken, try vegetables or wholegrain rice.
Healthy foods high in carbs
If you are lacking nutrients from your diet, it may be worth looking into foods that are good in a specific area. For example, the following foods are high in carbs.
Carbs are good for you because they are what makes up your bodies main source of energy. They help your brain, kidneys, heart and central system to function. To get the full benefit out of carbs, you should eat those that are loaded with other nutrients.
Healthy foods that are high in protein
Another great food source to add to your diet is those that are healthy and high in protein. The following foods that are considered to be high in protein are:
- Meats that are lean, such as beef, lamb etc
- Poultry meats, such as chicken, turkey etc
- Fish and other forms of seafood
- Most dairy products, such as milk, yoghurt etc
How to create a healthy foods grocery list
It can be difficult when you are in a shop and temptation gets the better of you. If you are wanting to create a healthy foods grocery list, it can be hard to know what to buy and the most effective method to construct your list.
Firstly, it can be helpful if you separate your list into categories. For example, bakery, dairy, fruit, veg, meat and snacks. This way, you are able to keep track of your consumption by category. If there is something that you want to avoid, for example, sugary snacks, it can be easier to avoid it by its category.
Secondly, this about your meals in order. So, start with breakfast and pick the healthy options, such as:
- Fruit Smoothies
Next, go onto lunch and think of some healthy food options for lunch and add them into the correct categories, such as:
- Fresh fish, tuna, salmon etc
- Wholegrain bread
Lastly, consider healthy options for dinner, such as:
- Lean meats
Whilst these are not set and restricted, it provides some basic ingredient ideas for meal prep.
Furthermore, once you have sorted each meal into their residing category, it can be helpful to consider the way that you shop. Try to avoid the isles that have the most temptation to you. You may want the food when you are in the shop, but if you can resist buying it, once you are home, you will not be able to consume the food. Try to avoid not taking a list with you to the shop as this may result in less food than you need or incomplete meals.
If you are able to keep a standard grocery list with items that you use regularly, this will help you to easily write grocery lists the next time you need to go food shopping. When adding items to your list, it might be helpful to consider some healthy foods that are low in calories.
Healthy foods low in calories
When you are looking for healthy foods to add to your shopping list, it can be difficult to determine what is healthy and low in calories. The following foods are low in calories,
- Yoghurt (Greek or Low-fat natural)
- Potatoes/Sweet potato
Why are healthy foods so expensive?
It is a common thought that healthy food is more expensive than unhealthy food, but is this a myth or is it a fact?
Whilst it does appear that healthier foods are more expensive on average, it does not mean that you cannot eat healthily for a low cost. It is often thought that healthier foods are expensive due to the connotations with 'organic' which are more expensive generally. Web MD has suggested some of the best ways to ensure that you can eat healthy for cheap.
Think about the portion in comparison
Whilst a bag of crisp may be considerably cheaper, you need to consider just how many portions you will get out of that bag. Most likely, it will be one or two depending on the size of the bag. Alternatively, if you buy a bag of fruit, say a bag of oranges, these are more than likely to last five or six portions. So, whilst they may be more expensive, they are cheaper in the long run.
Choose cheaper protein options
Protein doesn't just come from red meat, and it is extremely possible to buy foods that are high in protein that are not expensive (as seen above). Exchange out the ideas that you need red meat in order to have a healthy protein intake and consider cheaper alternatives. This is great for buying healthy meats and protein on a budget.
Buy fruit and vegetables that are in season
If you are wanting to buy fresh fruit and vegetables then the costs will be lower if you ensure that you buy fruit and vegetables that are currently in season. This also makes sure that they are fresh. Alternatively, buying frozen vegetables are cheaper and you often get a bigger quantity for the price.
What are some healthy foods on a budget?
Rice can be a cheap and efficient way to get healthier foods into your diet. It can be bought in large quantities and can often last a long time with one bag doing multiple meals. This can be used as a side dish or a part of the main meal.
When bread is bought as a loaf, it contains on average 12 slices, which make for 6 servings. Bread that is unbranded or cheaper alternatives to popular brands can come up very cheap.
Pasta can be bought in a similar fashion to rice. In bulk, it can provide enough for many different meals and can be bought for a low cost.
Oats can be used for a variety of dishes from breakfast to healthier desserts. Oats can be bought in large quantities and the cost runs very low. Overnight oats are becoming extremely popular and bulk buying makes buying food on a budget very effective.
Frozen vegetables can often provide more for your money. The bags are much bigger and you can get a larger amount of veg. These can be used for side dishes to accompany your main food source. One bag of frozen vegetables can provide up to six servings making it a great item to consider for your budget shop.
Refried beans, and other forms, are considerably high in protein, and buying them canned is a cheap alternative. It is also possible to buy multipack cans and stock them for a budgeted grocery list.
Canned tuna, among other types of fish, can be a great way to incorporate fish into your diet without the expense of buying it from a fresh counter.
The five Healthy Food groups
There are five recommended healthy food groups that are considered to make up a healthy diet. These are the following:
- Fruit and Veg - These contain vitamins and minerals that help to keep us healthy
- Dairy - Dairy contains calcium, which keeps our teeth healthy and our bones strong
- Protein - Protein is good for us because it helps muscles to grow and repair
- Fats - Fats are good for keeping our organs safe, but too much can have the opposite effect
- Starchy Carbs - Carbs are great for giving us energy and fibre
Carbohydrates are our source of energy and they should make up around one-third of your diet. When choosing which carbs to have, you should opt for the wholegrain option as they give you more fibre, help to better maintain your digestive system and give you vitamins and minerals.
Healthy fats are good for us, but we only need a small amount in order to gain protection for our organs and get the necessary vitamins. This helps the body to absorb vitamins such as Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Vitamin E. They help to keep you fuller for longer periods of time, making it easier for weight loss if this is your goal.
Fruit and Vegetables
We need fruit and vegetables in order to keep ourselves healthy, balancing our diet, ensuring we get plenty of fibre, and other vitamins and minerals. Fruit and vegetables should make up around a third of your diet.
Diary is good for us because we need to keep our bones strong, and this food group is great for ensuring that we have nutrients that we need in order to keep us healthy.
Protein can come from fresh meat and poultry, but limit your intake of processed meats as these are not healthy. You can try to change your protein to ensure that your intake is consistent, but not monotonous.
Overall, wholesome foods are the best option when eating healthy. However, this does not always have to be organic and expensive. It is possible to maintain a healthy diet, consisting of wholesome foods without the need to spend high amounts of money. If you are on a budget, there are various products that you can use as a substitute for expensive products.
Intakes of food that are part of the five categories are the best way to ensure that your diet stays consistent and healthy. Using the contents of the article, we hope that you are able to create a healthy grocery list that allows for the incorporation of healthy foods.