The Difference Between Whole vs Processed Foods – Eat Real Food

Difference Between Whole vs Processed Food - Eat Real Food from Open Mind Nutrition

Think about it for a moment – Do you mostly eat whole, real foods or fake, processed food? What is the difference between a whole food and a processed food anyway? Here we will talk about the two different types of foods you can eat, something you may not have considered before


What is the Difference Between Whole Foods & Processed Food?


Whole foods (real food) are natural foods grown in the ground, minimally processed and spoils fast. These include:

  • Fresh Fruit & Vegetables
  • 100% Whole grains
  • Nuts and Seeds


Processed foods are the boxed, packaged, convenient, highly refined foods often found in the middle of the grocery store (can be seen as ‘fake food’). Some processed foods include:

  • Sugary Beverages (ie. soda, juice)
  • Cakes, Cookies, Muffins, Doughnuts
  • Pies, Pastries, Sausage Rolls
  • Processed Meats & Cheese (ie. hot dogs, salami)
  • Bagels, Croissants, Burger Buns
  • and many others…


Watch This Video to Learn More About the Difference Between Whole vs. Processed Foods


Your mission:

Have a look at your pantry & fridge – what do you see? Is there is more food in your pantry than there is in your fridge, and a lot of packaged, boxed foods? If yes, you are definitely not alone! Many people buy processed, packaged foods for many reasons including convenience, cost & quicker time to prepare the meals


Bacteria Love Real Foods

Stop and think for a moment… How long does it take for processed foods to ‘spoil’ compared to fresh foods such as fruit or vegetables? Processed foods are packed with preservatives, making them even inedible to bacteria! We have countless numbers of different bacteria in our stomach, does that mean we are not feeding them foods that even they would eat? Whole foods break down much faster than processed foods because bacteria love REAL FOODS, breaking them down within days most of the time. An example would be a banana turning brown, which is the action of bacteria feeding on it. So, if you want to be kind to the bacteria in your gut, you need to feed them the right foods, ones they will thank you for and in return will make you feel better!


Do you see the importance of understanding reasons behind choosing healthier, real foods?


Processed Foods are Made to Be Addictive

You have foods in your pantry & fridge right now that contain ingredients that block your body’s ability to burn fat, triggers food cravings and well.. are made to be addictive so you eat more of it! Yes, you heard right & this is the cold, hard truth! Why do you think potato chips are soooo addictive? You are about to learn something that will shock you… it’s not a coincidence that they are addictive. And don’t be fooled, these unhealthy ingredients that food manufacturers used are also found in many of the “health foods” they want you to think are good for you. Aim to eliminate these “hidden” additives from your life by knowing exactly what these foods are and what to replace them with. It doesn’t mean you need to stop eating the foods you enjoy


Swap Unhealthy, Processed Foods for Healthier Alternatives

Replace food items in your pantry & fridge with REAL FOODS and cut out as much PROCESSED foods as possible. When you walk into the supermarket, notice that all the PROCESSED foods are in the middle aisles, whereas most of the REAL FOODS are situated around them. Examples include the obvious fruit & vegetables, then there are meats, dairy & frozen vegetables. You will also find many processed foods in the frozen section such as frozen meals, pizzas, pies & desserts. Of course, these types of foods on occasion are ok. Balance is key! But you want to try form new healthy habits and learn to have these ‘treat’ foods as… well.. a treat! Start focusing on buying groceries around the sides of the supermarket and avoid the middle aisles. There are exceptions though of course, such as for cereal, rice & pasta for example. You get the general idea

These changes are not going to happen overnight. Take small steps as you start to slowly replace your foods with healthier options


Ways Processed Foods are Killing You

This video discusses the health risks of consuming processed foods


Some Health Implications of Eating Processed Foods:

#1 Weight gain

#2 Diabetes

#3 Heart Disease

Learn the Truth About Your Food

Whole vs Processed Foods - Eat Real Food - Product


Let’s Summarize Some of the Differences Between Whole, Real Foods & Processed Foods


Whole Foods…

  • ‘spoil’ faster
  • are brightly coloured
  • are minimally processed or tampered with
  • don’t usually have ingredient lists
  • contain many more beneficial nutrients
  • contain significantly less calories
  • are often found around the sides of the grocery store
  • help your health & help you lose weight


Processed Foods…

  • do not ‘spoil’ easily
  • are dull colored, packaged, boxed or canned (often in brightly colored packaging)
  • are highly refined & not in it’s original state
  • have (often long) ingredient lists
  • do not contain many nutrients
  • contain a lot of calories & high in fat, sugar and/or salt
  • are often found in the center of the grocery store
  • contribute to weight gain & many health related problems



A diet that consists mostly of whole foods will ensure you get the nutrition you need & help you achieve good health. Substituting processed food for whole, real foods helps you lose & maintain a healthy weight and lowers your risk of many chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes & heart disease. Eat better, Feel Better


This Image Summarizes the Term ‘Real Food’ Beautifully

Whole vs Processed Food - Eat Real Food Summary


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