Step #2: Replace refined, processed foods.
Refining and processing can alter the molecular structure of foods, which also changes how the body reacts to these foods.
For example, hydrogenation is a process that turns liquid oils (like canola, sunflower, peanut, among others) that would normally be reactive to light, heat and oxygen into fats that are less reactive, and therefore more solid and stable. This is done to prolong shelf life and make these naturally liquid oils more spreadable. During the process, the fatty acids are twisted into molecules called “trans-fatty acids”, which as we know have detrimental side effects when consumed. Trans fats can be found in commercial baked goods, cookies, cakes, breads, margarine, snack foods (potato chips, pretzels), cereals, breaded and fried foods.
Another example is the refining and bleaching of whole wheat to make white flour. A whole grain of wheat consists of 3 parts: The central core or endosperm (about 80% of the grain) is mainly composed of starch and some protein. This provides energy to nourish the future seed. The second part is the germ (roughly 3% of the grain) and this is the future sprout. It is the most nutrient-rich part of the seed and contains protein, oils and many vitamins and minerals. Finally, the bran covering (about 15% of the grain) which protects the grain and is a good source of fibre and nutrients (zinc and B vitamins).
Whole wheat flour is less stable because of the potential oxidation of naturally occurring oils. With the removal of bran and the germ from wheat, it prolongs the shelf life making it more desirable to food manufacturers. In addition, white flour is often bleached to remove any slight yellow colour and make its baking properties more predictable. Unfortunately, this also renders the flour nutrient deficient. ‘Enriching’ or ‘fortifying’ white flour products is an attempt to put back the lost nutrients, however it is no longer a whole and natural food.