One of my main eating rules is to find foods that are 5-ingredients or less. This usually means that you are eating what I call “as close to the ground as possible.” When there aren’t a lot of ingredients it is real whole food. All vegetables, fruits, meats are whole foods. They have few ingredients.
Are You Eating Right?
When you are eating a meal even a pasta meal this may mean choosing a pasta that is basically semolina flour or some other gluten-free kind and a simple sauce that you have made at home. It can be tomatoes and olive oil or something similar. A jar sauce that is a marinara fits the bill as well. Steaming or roasting your vegetables also keeps them clean. It’s when you start eating out of packages, buying sauces or any other condiment, you are moving past the 5-ingredient rule into the realm of the “unhealthy.”
If you stick to the outside aisles of the supermarket that is where you will be able to shop to follow these guidelines. Milk, cheese, yogurt, these are low ingredient foods as well.
Below is a list of the best ways to be able to keep whole, healthy real foods stocked in your home.
What Makes The List
- Whole foods: Lots of fruits and vegetables
- Dairy products like milk, unsweetened yogurt, eggs, and cheese
- 100% whole-wheat and whole-grains: I especially love sourdough bread. It’s fermented and easy on your digestion
- Seafood (wild caught is the optimal choice over farm-raised)
- Only locally raised (or at least organic, no antibiotic) meats such as pork, beef, and chicken….if you must bacon, choose the natural sulphate/nitrite free brands
- Beverages limited to water, milk, all natural juices, naturally sweetened coffee & tea with just the regular milk or half&half. Try to forgo the fancies!
- Snacks like dried fruit, seeds, nuts and popcorn
- All natural sweeteners including honey, 100% maple syrup, and fruit juice concentrates are acceptable in moderation
And What Doesn’t
- Refined grains such as white flour or white rice (items containing wheat must say WHOLE wheat…not just “wheat”)
- Sweeteners such as sugar, any form of corn syrup, cane juice, or the artificial stuff like Splenda
- Nothing out of a box, can, bag, bottle or package that has more than 5 ingredients listed on the label
- Deep fried foods
- “Fast foods”
- Anything in a package. Get into a good habit of reading your packages. All the ingredients are listed. If you can’t count them or pronounce them it is best to stay away!
When you choose this lifestyle and eating pattern, you are choosing to be fit, lose weight and potentially eliminate or control symptoms of chronic illness. No drawbacks!
Benefits Of Choosing Whole, Low Ingredient Foods
Better Blood Sugar
One of the most noticeable effects you will see from eating a whole food, low ingredient diet are better blood sugar levels. They don’t spike your blood sugar and you won’t experience the highs and lows that can come with eating packaged foods.
Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and beans are all made of one similar ingredient: fiber. Fiber is the most essential nutrient for healthy blood sugar, digestion, and heart health combined. Whole foods are full of natural insoluble and soluble fiber to support digestion and regularity.
They are easily broken down. The less work your body has to do, the more energy it can provide you. All plants are full of carbohydrates and fiber, plant-based protein that contains amino acids, healthy fats that benefit the metabolism, and vitamins and minerals that support the body. They energize us.
Less Muscle Pain
Animal foods are high in inflammatory properties. If we keep them to a minimum you can keep your pH level and your body alkaline and free from pain and inflammation.