Evidence-Based Reasons Why Real Foods Help with Weight Loss
It is no surprise that the rapid increase in obesity cases occurred when highly processed foods became more available.
Agreed, highly processed foods are convenient, but they are loaded with calories and can increase your risk of many diseases.
On the other hand, whole foods are healthy and can improve weight loss.
Overview of real foods
Natural foods are single-ingredient foods that contain plenty of vitamins and minerals. These foods are not laced with chemical additives, and they are also unprocessed.
Examples of natural foods include:
- Chia seeds
- Whole eggs
- Unprocessed meat
- Brown rice
- Sweet potatoes
- Sweet potatoes
Every food group has lots of natural foods. This means that you have lots of options to choose from.
Here is why we think natural foods can help with weight loss.
1. Natural foods are loaded with nutrients
Whole, unprocessed animal and plant foods are loaded with minerals and vitamins that are good for your health.
Heavily processed foods can slow down weight loss in many ways. For example, a diet consisting of processed foods deficient in iron can affect your ability to exercise, considering that iron is needed to move oxygen around your muscles. This will prevent adequate burning of calories through exercise (3).
A deficient diet in nutrients may prevent weight loss by making you feel less complete after eating.
2. Natural foods are packed with protein
Your protein sources are just as important as the quantity of food you eat. Natural foods are a healthier and more prosperous source of protein because they are not heavily processed.
When you eat processed food, it becomes more difficult for your body to digest several essential amino acids. These include lysine, cysteine, methionine, and tryptophan.
Proteins react quickly with sugars and fats involved in processing to create a complex combination.
Natural protein sources typically contain more protein. As a result, they are also lower in calories, making them better for fat loss.
3. Natural foods do not contain refined sugar
The natural sugars in vegetables and fruits are different from refined sugars.
Vegetables and fruits contain natural sugars and other nutrients like vitamins, fiber, and water, which are required as part of a balanced diet.
Refined sugars are essential ingredients in processed foods. The two common types of added sugars are table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.
Foods that contain lots of refined sugars often contain more calories and provide significantly few health benefits. Cakes, ice cream, candy, and cookies are some examples.
Refined sugars contribute very little to satiety (the feeling of fullness). Studies have shown that eating refined sugar in large amounts can increase the production of ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and dim your brain’s ability to make you feel full (8, 9).
Because natural foods do not contain refined sugars, they are a better and healthier choice for weight loss.
4. Natural foods contain more soluble fiber
Soluble fiber has many health benefits, one of them being that it enhances weight loss.
Soluble fiber combines with water in your gut to form a thick gel. Soluble fiber may also reduce your appetite by slowing food movement through your heart (10).
Soluble fiber also reduces appetite by affecting the production of hunger hormones.
It also increases the production of satiety hormones (hormones that keep you feeling full, such as peptide YY, glucagon-like-peptide-1, and cholecystokinin).
Natural foods contain more soluble fiber than processed foods. Healthy sources of soluble fiber include flaxseeds, beans, oranges, and sweet potatoes.
5. Natural foods are a great source of polyphenols
Polyphenols are divided into multiple categories, namely stilbenoids, lignans, and flavonoids.
One of the significant flavonoids that contribute immensely to weight loss is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). It is typically found in green tea and provides many health benefits.
For example, EGCG extends the effects of norepinephrine and other hormones involved in weight loss and fat burning by inhibiting their breakdown.
A diet containing many natural foods improves your health and helps you lose weight.
Natural foods are rich in nutrients, contain fewer calories, and are more satisfying than processed foods.
By replacing the processed foods in your diet with natural foods, you can take a giant leap towards healthy living.
Also, eating natural foods will make it easier to maintain the fat loss in the long term.