5 Reasons Why Whole Foods Are Still More Effective For Weight Loss

The COVID-19 pandemic left a dramatic impact on people’s health, wellness, and fitness. This crisis has prompted many people around the world to reevaluate their lifestyles and adopt healthier habits in an attempt to reduce their risk of contracting the virus.

The pandemic didn’t only present an unprecedented challenge to public health worldwide but also severely disrupted supply chains globally. As a result, many health and fitness enthusiasts opted for meal replacements as part of their fitness journey.

Now that COVID-19 has gotten milder, are meal replacements still on par with whole foods? In this article, we’ll figure out which sources are much more effective for weight loss.

1. Packed With Protein

When it comes to weight loss, protein is one of the most crucial nutrients. It reduces hunger and appetite, resulting in an automatic reduction in calorie intake. What’s more, it increases your metabolism and influences the production of hormones that help weight management.

Whole foods are the ideal protein sources since they aren’t heavily processed. Proteins easily react with fats and sugars when forming a complex combination during a food process. Consequently, several essential amino acids, such as lysine, tryptophan, methionine and cysteine, are harder to digest and even less available to your body.

Moreover, whole foods cause a specific dynamic action (SDA) or thermic effect. Compared to any meal replacement, whole foods are made of chunks and pieces that must be digested. That means your body has to burn calories when digesting. Hence, if your goal is to lose weight, finding most of your protein in the whole food source isn’t only healthier and can also help you lose even more weight.

2. Rich in Soluble Fibre

Whole foods have more soluble fibre than processed foods. It’s a type of dietary fibre that dissolves with gut water to form a gel-like material. It blocks fats that will otherwise be digested and absorbed, which helps to lower fat absorption and help regulate weight.

Soluble fibre also reduces your appetite. As a thick, spread-out gel, it slows the movement of food through your gut, which decreases your appetite. Additionally, studies have found that soluble fibre can increase cholecystokinin, glucagon-like peptide-1, and peptide YY, which are hormones that can make you full.

3. Have Polyphenols

Polyphenols contain antioxidant properties that help you lose weight. One example of this is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a flavonoid (one of the polyphenols) that’s found in green tea. It inhibits the breakdown of some catecholamines (or stimulatory hormones stimulating fat burning), extending the effects of fat burning.

While they’re included in many supplements, polyphenols are micronutrients that naturally occur in plants. They’re easier to get in your diet from certain whole foods that are usually brightly coloured, such as berries, herbs and spices (like cloves, peppermint, and star anise), coffee and tea, cocoa powder, nuts, flaxseeds, and olives.

4. No Refined Sugars

Many whole foods have natural sugars, such as fructose in fruit and lactose in dairy. While they’re sugar, they provide vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial nutrients we need as part of our balanced diet.

For example, the fructose in many fruits is naturally packaged with fibre. This fibre helps slow down the sugar from entering your bloodstream, reducing the likelihood of you having blood sugar spikes. Similarly, lactose in dairy comes with protein and fat, which are also known to help prevent blood sugar from rising.

Conversely, refined sugars, like regular table sugar, brown sugar, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and evaporated cane juice, are extracted from natural sugar. They’re typically added to nutrient-poor, processed foods, like soda, juice, condiments, and some types of baked goods, which aren’t good for your health when eaten in large quantities.

Unlike natural sugars, refined sugars are heavily processed and lack the nutrients, minerals, and fibre in whole foods. Studies have also shown that they help produce more hunger hormone ghrelin. In other words, refined sugars do little to keep you full. Overall, refined sugars will likely cause you to gain weight and have high blood sugar. Even worse, prolonged elevated blood sugar increases your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

5. No Artificial Trans Fats

Artificial trans fats, also known as trans fatty acids, are made when liquid vegetable oils are turned into solid fats by adding hydrogen. They’re then called partially-hydrogenated oils (PHOs).

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned PHOs in food due to their health risks. Specifically, they can cause redistribution of fat tissues into your abdomen. Even if you control your total dietary calories, these fats can still cause you to gain weight. Several studies have also revealed its association with obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems.

Fortunately, whole foods don’t contain artificial trans fats. Some animal-based sources like beef, veal and lamb have natural trans fats, but they’re harmless and helpful. They’re good for heart health, cholesterol level, and optimal well-being.

Final Thoughts

Start buying and cooking whole foods now. Fat diets are convenient and may help you lose weight for some time, but they won’t promote long-term weight management. What will help you keep your weight at bay for good is the mindful consumption of nutritious, real food choices paired with regular physical activities. The key is to lose weight the right way.

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