Listen, as Dr. Katz describes a whole food diet.
Whole foods is often used to refer to diets closer to nature. There’s other terminology that’s used to describe the same thing. Pollan’s expression famously is, “Eat food, mostly plants.” I often talk about eating closer to nature. These various expressions really refer to eating foods where you can identify what they are and where they come from fundamentally.
Highly processed foods; it would be very difficult in many instances to tell what they are actually made of. Most people don’t know. You don’t know where they came from. A whole food is all the parts of the food as nature developed it. So a whole grain has all the parts of the grain as it grew on the plant. It’s direct from nature, less processing.
We adulterate foods in two ways: we take stuff away, removing the hull from grains for example, and stripping away the fiber and many nutrients, and then we add stuff in processing.
Whole foods would avoid both of those elements because they would come intact from nature. They are obvious examples. When you eat a banana, you simply eat the banana as it grew; there is the whole food.
The greater the proportion of your diet that’s made up of foods that come directly from some identifiable place in nature and the fewer foods you eat that glow in the dark, the better off you’ll be.
About Dr. Katz, M.D., M.P.H.:
David L. Katz M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P.M., F.A.C.P., is an internationally renowned authority on nutrition, weight management, and the prevention of chronic disease, and an internationally recognized leader in integrative medicine and patient-centered care. He is a board certified specialist in both Internal Medicine, and Preventive Medicine/Public Health, and Associate Professor (adjunct) in Public Health Practice at the Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Katz is the Director and founder (1998) of Yale University's Prevention Research Center, Director and founder of the Integrative Medicine Center at Griffin Hospital (2000) in Derby, CT, and founder and president of the non-profit Turn the Tide Foundation.