Why Whole Foods Matter

A week or so ago I got an direct message from a teenage follower on my Instagram account:

“Hey I’m going to GNC today after school to buy a new protein powder, is there a certain one you would recommend?”

I have about 3-4 brands off the top of my head that I could recommend to her. But because I didn’t know when she would be using it, I started asking questions. Her response was something like:

I’m trying to eat really healthy and exercise every day. I usually have a protein shake for breakfast, and I like to have them with my lunch. I’m looking for one that I could take before and after I work out…

My reaction was something like this:

Unless your health restricts you from eating whole foods (maybe you’re on a liquid diet from a recent surgery, I don’t know…) you should ALWAYS choose whole food over protein powder. 

You get all your micro nutrients from whole foods which enables the body to absorb and utilize them better. Vitamins, minerals, fats, etc. all interact with each other. Some inhibit another from being absorbed, others help the body to absorb them.

So please, don’t make this mistake. It will hurt your transformation and stop you from achieving your goals!

Food > Protein Powder

Oh and by the way, she finally ended up directing me to the picture she originally sent me a picture of. It wasn’t even a protein powder, it was a picture of branched chained amino acids (BCAAs). Technically, yes an amino acid is a protein, but no it is not the same as protein powder. BCAAs are an incomplete protein. (See my protein powder post for help on this).

I’ll have something up for you guys soon about what BCAAs are and why I use them in my training!

7 thoughts on “Why Whole Foods Matter

  1. MozFit Reply

    Certainly, your advice for the follower was spot on. Where possible, whole foods present a much better option than relying on Protein powders – simply for the micronutrient benefits!

    However, I would show caution against saying it would damage or ‘sacrifice’ their metabolism. The key issue you may want to address is the efficiency of digestion and dangers of a solely liquid diet, but metabolism would not be affected. Perhaps you were referring to the energy expenditure of digestion? The thermic affect of the protein content would actually be good for your energy expenditure (just not as good as lean chicken, etc.).

    • dashafitness Reply

      Thank you for your comment! For more information on what I was referring to you can check out this article: http://www.jissn.com/content/pdf/1550-2783-11-7.pdf
      Thank you for pointing this out though. I should have clarified that a liquid diet will likely cause weight loss which will decrease the metabolism as a result of lowering your TDEE. Many people have also reported to struggle to incorporate whole food back into their system after having a liquid diet. It is a slow and gradual process to accustom the body back. Thank you for helping me to clarify!

      • MozFit Reply

        That’s definitely true, but it is also true of a whole food diet with a caloric deficit. I think the focus when using protein supplements is simply the supplementation. If you aren’t getting enough protein, or simply can not eat as much as you need – have a shake.

  2. jncthedc Reply

    You’re absolutely correct about needing quality whole foods as the basic source of nutrients. Shakes (whether whey, soy, casein,egg or some combination) are designed to SUPPLEMENT, not replace real food. Great advice.
    Keep the information coming. It took me many years of education and practical application to comfortably teach people about health. I am excited to see you (21 years young) so motivated at such a young age. Don’t ever back off!

    • Jim and Kelly Arter Reply

      Hi Dasha – First of all thanks for the like and love your blog. I definitely agree that whole food nutrition is the best way to go. Over the past 15 years we have implemented a 90% plant based diet. During that time we have only taken a whole food based product made from 30 fruits, vegetables and grains to increase our Fruit and Vegetable intake. This gets us to the 9-13 recommend fruit and vegetable servings a day. No fragmented vitamins. We have lived Healthy and Drug free. Look forward to your future posts and keep up the great work!

      • dashafitness Reply

        That’s awesome! I’m so happy you guys found a healthy balance that works for you! Thanks for stopping by and your kind words 🙂

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