When you walk into the average grocery store, most of the items you’ll see will be processed. Designed to minimize production costs, processed foods contain preservatives and other unnecessary ingredients so that they can last longer on the shelf. Whole foods, by contrast, are minimally processed and are made to provide consumers with a more natural dietary option. But is eating whole really better than processed? Here are a few reasons why you may want to switch to whole foods the next time you shop at the supermarket.
5 Reasons to Shop for Whole Foods at Your Supermarket
1. More Nutrients
Whole items are generally more nutritionally dense than processed foods. With more essential vitamins and minerals in your diet, you will be providing your body with the fuel it needs to get through the day. At the same time, many of these items—particularly those that contain omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants—may help protect your body against disease.
2. Less Sodium
Processed foods tend to lose flavor as they are preserved and packages. To compensate for that lack of flavor, manufacturers load them with sodium. While it’s an essential mineral, high sodium can contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease. Whole foods, on the other hand, rely on their natural flavor and do not require as much sodium.
3. Less Sugar
Processed goods also contain a lot of sugar and refined carbohydrates. These high sugar levels contribute to major health problems such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes. While the whole foods you find at the supermarket may also have carbohydrates, they contain more natural sugars that provide a more sustainable and healthy fuel source for your body compared to refined ingredients.
4. Lower Calories
Foods that are high in refined sugar are usually high in calories, which can be detrimental to individuals who are trying to follow a balanced diet. Calorie counts in whole foods, however, are generally lower, allowing you to eat more without worrying about weight gain.
5. Better Digestion
Compared to processed items, whole products—particularly those in the grain family—tend to include more fiber. With more fiber in your system, your body will have an easier time breaking down foods for digestion, which in turn can minimize gastrointestinal distress.
Although the advantages of whole foods are clear, finding these healthier options isn’t always easy. Fortunately, if you shop in Ridgewood, NY, you can find a vast selection of natural and specialty food at Billy’s Marketplace. Serving Queens and Brooklyn residents, this supermarket prides itself on selecting fresh products from local producers, including fruits, veggies, fish, and grass-fed delicatessen items. Check out their weekly ad online for the latest deals or call (347) 813-4053 to ask about product availability.