Whole foods, nutritious nutrition, or a balanced diet – these forms of nutrition are the epitome of health-focused food intake. Read what this means and if this diet is right for you.
Balanced and healthy: complete nutrition
The topic of healthy eating is literally on everyone’s lips and there have never been as many different concepts as today. The spectrum stretches from Ayurveda to vegan – whole food nutrition is one of the oldest representatives. The main features of this form of nutrition were already developed in the late 19th century by social reformers who criticized industrialization with its highly processed foods and luxuries such as tobacco. Finally, in the 1940s, the scientist Werner Kollath introduced the concept of whole foods, which to this day forms the basis of the recommendations of the German Nutrition Society (DGE). A diet is healthy when your diet or weekly meal plan provides all essential nutrients in the recommended ratio and meets your daily needs. Also called a balanced diet, the concept points to a varied mixed diet.
Whole Food Nutrition Basics
In addition to the quantitative proportion of nutrient-rich foods, which the DGE illustrates in the form of a food pyramid, the basic principles of whole food nutrition include other guiding principles:
- Eat plant-based and carefully prepared foods as much as possible.
- Five servings of fruits and vegetables should be on the menu each day.
- Limit your consumption of meat, fish, and sausage to 300 to 600 grams per week.
- Salt, sugar and animal fats should only be included in the diet in moderation.
- It is best to consume milk and milk products and cereals every day.
- Drink at least 1.5 liters a day.
A healthy diet consisting of raw foods and with a high proportion of whole grains is considered particularly valuable and prevents nutrient deficiency: it contains the highest amount of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. White flour provides less good ingredients than wholemeal flour and does not fill for as long: therefore wholemeal recipes are preferred.
Are whole foods good for everyone?
The biggest drawback of whole food nutrition is digestibility: Sensitive individuals may react to the high fiber content of this diet with digestive problems. The diet is also unfavorable for certain intestinal diseases. If you want to try whole-food recipes, it’s best to slowly approach the amount of raw foods and whole grains you can tolerate. The main criticism of the original concept of whole food nutrition according to Kollath was the division of foods into value groups, which, from today’s point of view, is no longer scientifically defensible. Not all cooked foods automatically have a lower nutritional balance than raw foods.