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CMCOLE's Photo CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
5/10/13 7:02 A

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Lily_Spark is correct.

If it's processed (flour, for instance), it's not considered "whole"

Now, in the past, I've actually taken WHOLE wheat kernals and put them in my flour mill and made flour to bake bread. In that case; I'd likely consider it a better choice than the heavily processed, chemical laden choices in the supermarkets.

So, as close to being 'as it grows' as possible I guess is the best definition.

I will, however, have things that are less than whole - on occasion.
These would include unsweetened almond milk and yogurt (although as I said below; I look for minimal ingredients - like the milk and cultures).

I will use frozen vegetables and fruits, provided that's all that is in the bag.
I will occasionally use canned vegetables, but it's a little more difficult to get them additive free (they often will contain salt, at a minimum).
I try to make my own broths, when possible, and freeze them.

It's more about balance, rather than being so restrictive that you are 'afraid' to eat anything.

LILY_SPARK's Photo LILY_SPARK SparkPoints: (92,312)
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5/9/13 9:16 A

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What I consider whole foods are things like:

avocados, pork chops, bananas, coconut oil, almonds...

While, of course, you can make a recipe that combines individual foods,

I do NOT count any kind of bread (I'm Celiac, so if I indulge in bread, it's unconventional, 'gluten free' styles -- and I do eat it -- but I do not call it whole foods).

I do NOT count soy milk (even unsweetened and organic, which is what I use).

I'm very strict about how I track and what I know is ... 'what.' I also drink vodka and eat peanut butter cups (but LIMIT those NON whole foods).

Basically, if you can KILL it, it's whole (picking a tomato, which is part of the plant, won't kill the vine but the tomato ceases to live). Turkey thighs are a piece of an animal with no additives.

If I bake turkey thighs in a sauce made of tomatoes, basil and garlic, it's a whole food. :)

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CMCOLE's Photo CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
5/9/13 6:30 A

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If you have access to the book, "Rich Food, Poor Food" it gives some great ideas and ways to read labels - the ingredients; not just the 'nutritional' information.

As others have said, ingredients you cannot identify/pronounce (or that would be on your pantry shelf) may best be avoided.

As an example - I've switched to 'minimal ingredient' yogurt, as opposed to the 35-calorie artificially sweetened varieties. Yes, it's more calories, but I think I'm getting a better product to feed my body.

VAJ38DD's Photo VAJ38DD SparkPoints: (14,358)
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1/22/12 4:27 P

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The movie Forks Over Knives has made such an impact on me. I totally did not see that coming. When I watched it a couple of months ago I thought OK, just another diet show who thinks they have all the answers. Well I think they do have the answers. Whole Food/plant based diet is the way to go. I am very curious to see what my cholesterol levels will be after eating 80% whole foods for the last two months.
It took me a little bit to get my husband to watch it.. He had noticed that I wasn't eating like I had been and wanted to know what was up. I said that I would prefer that he watch the video (Netflix has it online) instead of me trying to tell him. Needless to say he is totally on board. What impacted him most was the heart surgery's segment. His father had just died in April after years of these types of surgeries and cancer.
I'll let you all know what my number are in about a month.
Veronica

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SHAMAN29's Photo SHAMAN29 Posts: 65
1/22/12 12:24 P

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My husband and I recently watched Fork Over Knives. It was about the changes a whole food, plant based diet can make to our health and well being. Here is the link. Be warned, the two doctors do suggest eliminating or greatly reducing the amount of animal based foods in our diets. However, I found the documentary very informative.

http://www.forksoverknives.com/

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HEMAMALINI100 Posts: 2,617
1/21/12 9:38 P

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Thank you all for the response

No matter how much you mess up today tomorrow is a new day. Keep on going.


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MARGIE100%PURE's Photo MARGIE100%PURE Posts: 1,514
1/17/12 5:34 P

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Jemanalini100- Karen4health is right! White rice is a short cut to pull all the nutrients off the outside and polish to effect, then program the generic public to buy a used up grain. The highest values are in the germ-bran and the outer layers. All that is left is high carbs that would have supported a highly perfect food. Minerals and vitamins are often on the outside edge of the plant food in the skin in the peel. This is true for animal fats most are just under the skin of fish and poultry. The peel of potato or an apple might hold some of the worst pesticides and agricultural poisons man has yet made but we still love them forget to wash them and some people still eat them. I have tried and like black; brown; red; jade green rice. I think there is pink rice but I have not seen it. It is said that one of the best cholesterol fighters is the yeast that grows on the outside of a grain called red rice yeast. We Americans love our American cheese products and white rice because marketers have made them available and generations of users now think of them as real whole food.

Oh, yes, well done, Floppyreturns. That link is a wealth of information and links to many more interesting places. Thank You.

Sushiyummy- I put that tomato link into my favorites. I felt honored as I have trained my own eyes to green food or purchased my edibles elsewhere. I loved the humor to the Darya Pino flowchart.

I have a question that is not getting a fair and complete response from the resources I currently tried. I send emails to government officials, clinical specialists, publicly acclaimed writers; I get platitudes and automatic generic uninformed answers. I feel this topic is a hidden political football. I am allergic to sulfites! There is no complete list of foods and no pattern of caution and no measurements for cooking off the potential harmful amounts in clean organic foods of all parts of the food pyramid. I am thinking about blogging a new team of ‘sulfite soul fighters’ here in the spark zone.
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Edited by: MARGIE100%PURE at: 1/17/2012 (17:43)
The greatest love story is your own.
If you miss out of life to the fullest; they win.
You are the happiness master of your own mind.
Thought is an active dynamic energy to harmonize and corrolate good.
Clear all paths to love thru forgiveness.
I may not recognize the significance until some time later.
Is my resistance to change really that strong?
Impatience does not provide the time to learn the lesson;
Awaken new ways to approach the dissolving of a problem;
KAREN4HEALTH's Photo KAREN4HEALTH SparkPoints: (1,717)
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1/16/12 8:52 P

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This is a helpful discussion to me. I am trying to radically cut down on the processed foods in my life, but I don't need to cut them out entirely. To Hemamalini100-- I believe that any white grain is a processed grain, and therefore not "whole."

Failure is impossible. --Susan B. Anthony


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HEMAMALINI100 Posts: 2,617
1/16/12 6:43 P

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I believe brown rice is whole grain but is white long grain rice a whole food or grain ?

Edited by: HEMAMALINI100 at: 1/16/2012 (18:45)
No matter how much you mess up today tomorrow is a new day. Keep on going.


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PINKGRANNY's Photo PINKGRANNY SparkPoints: (69,139)
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1/15/12 7:35 P

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Thanks for sharing, we are trying to find more and more whole foods. You just have to read the label to be informed along with knowing for sure what whole foods are. I am amazed by people who do not really know this.


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JOEY4PAWS SparkPoints: (1,774)
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1/14/12 9:53 P

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Thank-you sushiyummy for your link. I think reading labels is a great help for helping us determine what is in the product. White flour, high frutose, sugar , those are a few that aren't the healthiest choice. Lunch meat, package sausages, hotdogs, and alot more are processed.
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MARGIE100%PURE's Photo MARGIE100%PURE Posts: 1,514
1/10/12 3:13 P

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Be glad you do have a choice; I have to live a whole food life. My adrenal glands have been short on function by my doctors and by my environment and by 24/7working life. If so much as one artificial preservative in even a whole food packaging for storage will cause pain and inflammation painful non-weight loss symptoms return. Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue /IBS/allergies/Auto immune conditions are milder with clean foods and better habits. There are clean organic foods I must avoid. I want a whole life with pain-free eating. I want prevention not backtracking of prescription and over-the counter pain pills and fat body with holes in my gut from all the misguided suggestions and assumed wise advice. Recovery is not just possible; it has been happening here. You may not have to go –there- by eating better today.

Edited by: MARGIE100%PURE at: 1/10/2012 (15:19)
The greatest love story is your own.
If you miss out of life to the fullest; they win.
You are the happiness master of your own mind.
Thought is an active dynamic energy to harmonize and corrolate good.
Clear all paths to love thru forgiveness.
I may not recognize the significance until some time later.
Is my resistance to change really that strong?
Impatience does not provide the time to learn the lesson;
Awaken new ways to approach the dissolving of a problem;
SUSHIYUMMY's Photo SUSHIYUMMY Posts: 608
1/10/12 2:54 P

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It's definitely not a silly question at all. I think this is something that confuses a lot of people and processed food marketers make it even worse by their use of the word natural on a variety of unnatural foods.

None of the foods you listed are whole foods. A whole food is a food that is either not processed at all (like most fruits and veggies), or very minimally processed (like meat).

If it come in a package and has an ingredient list it probably isn't a whole food. That's not to say all foods with an ingredient list are bad. If there are few ingredients and all of those ingredients are recognizable whole foods then it may be a good choice. However, the foods you listed, with the exception of the hummus, are highly processed not matter what the source.

I would suggest reading Michael Pollan's book In Defense of Food for good practical suggestions for finding real, whole foods. In the meantime, this is a great chart to help you find real food in the supermarket:
summertomato.com/how-to-find-real-fo
od
-at-the-supermarket-flowchart/




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PJGABRIEL's Photo PJGABRIEL SparkPoints: (63,505)
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1/10/12 1:25 P

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Not a silly question, read the ingredient list and that will tell you if what you are buying is the same as whay you would make at home. I prefer my Hummus homemade, but there are realable products in the grocer. I go with if I can not pronouce it then I can not buy the product.

"A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government."

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. "
Thomas Jefferson


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FLOPPYRETURNS's Photo FLOPPYRETURNS SparkPoints: (11,432)
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1/10/12 11:43 A

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I hope this is not a silly question, but... I can tell the obvious whole foods and the completely over-processed stuff, but what about all the stuff in between? For example, is hummus (bought from the grocery store, not home made) a whole food? What about soy milk? Soy yogurt? Veggie burgers? What about bread - is any 100% whole wheat bread "whole"? Wasa crackers? etc. Thanks for any tips as I am trying to transition more and more of my foods to this way of eating/living.

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