Posted on May 08 2017
It’s no coincidence that the rapid rise in obesity happened around the same time highly processed foods became more available.
Although highly processed foods are convenient, they are packed with calories, low in nutrients and increase your risk of many diseases.
On the other hand, real foods are very healthy and can help you lose weight.
What Are Real Foods?
Real foods are single-ingredient foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, lack chemical additives and are mostly unprocessed.
Here are just a few examples:
There are lots of real foods in every food group, so there’s a vast array of real foods you can incorporate into your diet.
1. Real Foods Are Nutritious
Whole, unprocessed plant and animal foods are packed with vitamins and minerals that are great for your health.
Processed foods can slow down weight loss in several ways.
For instance, a diet of processed foods that doesn’t provide enough iron could affect your ability to exercise, since iron is required to move oxygen around your body. This would limit your ability to burn calories through exercise
A diet low in nutrients may also prevent you from losing weight by making you feel less full after eating.
When you’re trying to increase your intake of nutrients, eating real foods is the way to go.
They contain a variety of nutrients difficult to find in a single supplement, including plant compounds, vitamins and minerals.
Nutrients in whole foods also tend to work better together and are more likely to survive digestion than supplements.
2. They’re Packed With Protein
Protein is the most important nutrient for fat loss.
It helps increase your metabolism, reduce hunger and affects the production of hormones that help regulate weight.
Your food choices for protein are just as important as how much you eat. Real foods are a better source of protein since they aren’t heavily processed.
Food processing can make several essential amino acids harder to digest and less available to the body. These include lysine, tryptophan, methionine and cysteine.
This is because proteins easily react with sugars and fats involved in processing to form a complex combination.
Whole sources of protein are typically higher in protein and lower in calories, which makes them better for fat loss.
3. Real Foods Don’t Contain Refined Sugars
Real foods don’t contain added sugar and have other nutrients that are great for your health. Foods high in added sugar are typically higher in calories, aren’t as filling and increase your risk of obesity.
Soluble fiber may help you lose weight by reducing your appetite. Great real food sources of soluble fiber include sweet potatoes, beans, fruits and vegetables.
4. They’re Higher in Soluble Fiber
Soluble fiber provides many health benefits, and one of them is aiding weight loss.
It mixes with water in the gut to form a thick gel, and may reduce your appetite by slowing the movement of food through the gut.
Another way soluble fiber may reduce appetite is by affecting the production of hormones involved in managing hunger.
5. Real Foods Contain Polyphenols
Plant foods contain polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties that help protect against disease and may also help you lose weight.
Real foods are a great source of polyphenols, which are plant molecules with antioxidant properties. Some polyphenols may help with fat loss, such as epigallocatechin gallate in green tea.
Real Foods Don’t Contain Artificial Trans Fats
Artificial trans fats increase fat gain and boost the risk of many harmful diseases. Real foods don’t contain artificial trans fats.
6. They’ll Help You Eat More Slowly
Taking time and eating slowly is a piece of weight loss advice that’s often overlooked.
However, eating slowly gives your brain more time to process your food intake and recognize when it’s full.
Real foods can help slow down your eating since they typically have a firmer, more fibrous texture that needs to be chewed more. This simple action can help you lose weight by making you feel full with a smaller amount of food.
For instance, a study in 30 men found those who chewed each bite 40 times ate about 12% less food than those who chewed 15 times.
The study also showed that participants who chewed each bite 40 times had less of the hunger hormone ghrelin in their blood after the meal, and more of the fullness hormones glucagon-like peptide-1 and cholecystokinin.
The Bottom Line
A diet rich in real foods is great for your health and can also help you lose weight.
Real foods are more nutritious, contain fewer calories and are more filling than most processed foods.
By simply replacing processed foods in your diet with more real foods, you can take a big step towards living a healthier lifestyle.
What’s more, developing a habit of eating real foods — rather than following a short-term diet — will make it easier for you to maintain long-term fat loss.
Author: Authority Nutrition
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