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Is Whole Food Healthier? (Video)

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What are whole foods? In this video from the Nourish Video Encyclopedia, pediatrician and healthy food advocate Dr. Nadine Burke discusses the difference between processed and whole foods.

Whole vs. Processed
Whole foods are ingredients in their raw, unprocessed, and unrefined state, in contrast to foods that have undergone processing and preservation methods like curing, cooking, drying, or canning. As Dr. Nadine Burke, of San Francisco’s Bayview Child Health Center, says, whole foods are “the kind of foods that don’t need a label.”

Food processing extends the harvest through the seasons, prevents spoilage during storage and transport, and transforms raw ingredients into something new. Many of the foods we enjoy today, such as butter, cheese, pickles, jam, and ketchup, would not exist without food processing. Natural preservation techniques, such as fermentation, can even enhance the nutritional benefits of certain foods.

Some modern processing methods, however, deplete raw foods of vital nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and healthy fats. For example, white rice is brown rice that has been milled to extend its shelf life. The milling process removes the husk, bran, and germ, destroying iron, fiber, magnesium, fatty acids, B vitamins, and other healthy minerals found in unmilled brown rice. In the US, the FDA requires that white rice be “enriched” with B1 and B3 and iron, in an attempt to add back nutrients that are naturally occurring in rice’s original, whole-grain state.

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Nourish is an educational initiative designed to open a meaningful conversation about food and sustainability, particularly in schools and communities. To inform and inspire the largest number of people, Nourish combines PBS television, curriculum resources, web content, short films, and teacher and youth seminars. Nourish is a program of WorldLink, a nonprofit organization dedicated to education for sustainability.


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6:40AM PDT on Sep 16, 2011

Thanks for the great info!~ =)

6:13AM PDT on Jun 21, 2011

Go for whole food. Whenever eating whole food is possible.

10:11PM PDT on Jun 19, 2011

thanks! great article and video.

2:53AM PDT on Jun 10, 2011

Great article !

2:42AM PDT on Jun 9, 2011

Good info.

7:13AM PDT on Jun 8, 2011

Yes, of course!

11:59PM PDT on Jun 5, 2011

As someone who has pressured family to try and buy healthier foods, I understand the difficulties of switching to whole, organic, and healthy food. Habit, comfort, and convenience are usually as big a challenge as finding the foods you need to be at your dietary best.

11:13AM PDT on Jun 4, 2011

Short answer ---Yes!

4:29PM PDT on Jun 3, 2011

Thanks for this info. It's enlightening ;D

3:46PM PDT on Jun 3, 2011

Thanks for sharing this excellent article and link to the Nourished Kitchen website. I could say I process my own food. I have a fruit/veggie garden, small but every year I add a fruit or/and veggie or two.
I guess I could say I'm fortunate to live in a country where we can still find real fresh food. I cook everyday and over the weekends make a dessert or two, bake bread and depending on what fruit and veggie is in season I do some canning and freezing, to have available the rest of the year. I basicly use olive oil (very very rarely I'll use butter) homemade yogurt instead of any other kind of cream or cream fresh) and honey if needed in a breakfast recipe. dessert or sweet snacks instead of sugar.

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