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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,<br><br>
This is something I've been thinking about for a while, it is not a direct response to the 'boosting' thread.<br><br>
I believe in eating WHOLE FOODS. Would it make sense with this philosophy to not add 'extra nutrients' that come from only part of a food?<br><br>
I came across a recipe that called for whole wheat flour and bran. If my family only ever eats whole grains and whole grain products, as well as plenty of fruit and veggies, then we should have no need for added bran, right? Maybe Mother Nature designed wheat for us with just the right amount of carbohydrates and fiber and nutrients - so that we shouldn't need to pick it apart.<br><br>
We don't use flax oil. But we eat plenty of flax seeds.<br><br>
We drink raw whole milk. But I'm uncomfortable with the idea of having both whole milk and butter in my diet. If I want to eat butter, shouldn't I then be eating butter by-products (skim milk before the cream was skimmed off and buttermilk that results in whipping the cream) instead of whole milk?<br><br>
I understand the need to add extra nutrients if because of travel/work/school/pickiness the family gets exposed to a fair amount of SAD foods. But being a SAHM with two toddlers, I get full influence over their diets! Oh, and DH works from home too, so he only eats what I cook or what I have in the house. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I was also thinking about eggs. It used to be that people would recommend using extra egg whites, and now on the NT forum I've read some things about adding extra yolks. How 'bout just using the whole egg?<br><br>
I feel like there's a pendulum that's swinging - in the fifties everything was white, and now I'm seeing recipes using extra bran. We used to use just egg whites, now there's recommendations for egg yolks. Maybe the center of the pendulum is using WHOLE FOODS?<br><br>
What are your thoughts?<br><br>
Are there any foods that you would argue this philosophy doesn't apply? (I'm not about to eat fish heads <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> )<br><br>
Thanks,<br>
Aven
 

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I'm bumping this up because I think it's a really interesting topic of discussion, and I'd like to hear what other people have to say.<br><br>
I think I feel mostly the same as you. I do think that a whole foods diet is the way to go, and one shouldn't need to supplement. (I remember 10 or so years ago when the high protein, low carb craze first became popular. I would fight with my mother - a food scientist/nutritionist/chef! - and I insisted that protein supplements in the form of shakes and bars were NOT NATURAL! And were not the way our bodies were designed to eat.)<br><br>
BUT, to me, increasing the nutritional content of food means that I will add some spinach to a smoothie, and some ground flax to my apple crisp, and use overripe bananas as a sweetener in my muffins, and blend some different veggies in my tomato sauce, etc. I eat really, really well (as do the two kids I nanny for), but I'm not perfect. Sometimes I am craving salads, and so I eat a salad every day, but then I can go a week or so with no leafy greens. I mostly listen to what my body is telling me, but these "tricks" help me keep things a little more balanced.<br><br>
In general though, I don't worry too much about increasing the nutritional content of our foods. I just try and keep things balanced, within the day or the week. If I know that lunch was light on veggies, then we get lots for dinner or snack.
 

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We eat a totally whole foods diet. However, we have MANY food allergies in our house. We can't eat grains, we don't do dairy, soy or eggs, many nuts and beans are out etc. etc. etc. I always work to boost the nutrition on our food even though we eat NOTHING refined. Every bite has to count when you are as limited as we are.<br><br>
For instance I put raw, organic superfoods in our smoothies.<br><br>
I dress veggies with flax oil, and use ground flax seeds to make raw flax crackers. When you eat the whole flax seed it passes through undigested, much like sesame seeds. Not to mention I do find it necessary to supply the extra fats in my kid's diets.<br><br>
I go out of my way to find things like goji berries, maca, mesquite, cacao etc. They are technically whole foods, but I get them for the super properties. I find ways to incorporate algaw and spirulina. I suppose if you could eat anything you wanted it might not be an issue. For us it is, and I'm always looking for tricks to boost te nutrition! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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I've thought about this a lot, too. I tend to think sticking with whole foods is best, not adding fractions like wheat bran, although there are situations that call for nutrition boosting (reversing deficiency, for instance, although IMO wheat bran isn't useful). How far do you take this, though? No olive oil, only whole olives? It's hard to know where to draw the line. Also, there are confounding factors. For instance, much of the food available these days is less nutritious than generations ago, because of depleted soil, and we also have higher toxic loads because of pollution, so unless we know our food is coming from very nutrient-dense soil (which can't be counted on even with organic), there may be some remediation in order.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>avendesora</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7238843"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Maybe Mother Nature designed wheat for us with just the right amount of carbohydrates and fiber and nutrients - so that we shouldn't need to pick it apart.</div>
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I'm not disagreeing with your general whole-foods premise, but I do disagree with this statement. First, "Mother Nature" didn't really design wheat- the wheat we eat now was selectively bred by humans, who sometimes have good ideas and sometimes bad. Second, even if you were referring to a non-cultivated species, I think it's arrogant to assume it would be well-deisgned for the benefit of humans.<br><br>
Just wanted to say that if your philosophy behind this really is "this is how it is naturally, so it must be right" may need rethinking.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>avendesora</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7238843"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We drink raw whole milk. But I'm uncomfortable with the idea of having both whole milk and butter in my diet. If I want to eat butter, shouldn't I then be eating butter by-products (skim milk before the cream was skimmed off and buttermilk that results in whipping the cream) instead of whole milk?</div>
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I really like this idea, though I wanted to point out that unless you are making your own or consuming all three in specific proportions to each other you are probably still going to overlap... Also, finding buttermilk that results from making butter, if you are not getting the butter straight from a dairy farmer or making it yourself, is getting to be much harder to do...<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>avendesora</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7238843"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I was also thinking about eggs. It used to be that people would recommend using extra egg whites, and now on the NT forum I've read some things about adding extra yolks. How 'bout just using the whole egg?</div>
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I do both all the time depending on what I want to achieve. I just never throw out the extra other half, save it and use it in something else. I don't know if it is necessarily a whole foods approach or not, but I personally do it more out of not wanting to waste. I don't always want to use a whole egg--because of the way it cooks or because I want more or less fat in that dish or because the baby girl is having some or whatever--but I eventually use the whole egg. It's easy enough to do and would be in keeping with your dairy idea so probably is comparably whole foods oriented or not however the case may be. I really wouldn't know as I'm not well versed enough in what would fit with the 'whole foods' mentality...<br><br>
I admire and strive to one day be more whole foods oriented than I am. But I don't know that our motivations are the same. I do boost our diets, fats and proteins especially with the kids as they would eat just bananas, apples, bread, salad and milk if let them. But outside of broad parameters (like nuts and avacados are rich in fat, kiwi and tomatoes are high in vit c, turkey and oysters are pretty good for zinc, carrots help produce vit a, type of things) I don't presume to know the nutrient content of my foods...like a pp said it depends greatly on the soil it sprung from and it's not as simple as just buying organic or knowing your farmer and it's not even as simple going to test the soil at his farm or inspect it every few years to see if he's properly roating his crops with ones that use converse ones so the land has time to properly restore balance--not that that is particularly easy but the point is it still doesn't insure a certain nutrient content. Plus people's bodies are so different that I'm not sure it's as simple as this is how nature made it so this is how it's best, or even good, for humankind. I think if you listen to you body and eat what your body needs that's probably what best for it.<br><br>
With that premise and with the fact that I prepare food for the whole family and can't listen to anyone else's body I have to try to pay attention to things--like: if s/o gets sick, letharic, or gassy after eating something; or if one of the kids growing slows they need more zinc, if they're weight gain slows they maybe be getting too little fat or too much fiber; in cold and flu season it wouldn't hurt to try to get the non-nursers to eat more vit c foods so they hopefully don't catch every thing that passes through sunday school/work, and hubby generally needs a decent cushion of vit c foods since he's a smoker; etc--and tweak things accordingly to decide what to prepare/offer and I do this because I feel it's part of my job as a mom/wife, I can't force anything and sometimes I feel they could really have better diets but I try to offer what I think they might need and let them gauge how much or how little to eat of it because in the end I really want them to learn to trust their bodies to tell them what right/not right for them.<br><br>
And while I lean sort of in the direction of whole foods, for me it's more about opting for things that are natural over those that are processed and/or manmade. And I'm positive I don't always balance my light/dark meat poultry, different parts of the cow, etc enough to say that I necessarily ever balance it out into eating the whole thing, but I do buy alot of bone in meats and use the bones--as well as things like fish heads, clam shells, giblets, etc--to make stocks. I eat bacon and occassionally use some of the fat for cooking to add a little flavor but have absolutely no desire to consume all of it to round things out; in fact I generally trim most meat fats and don't regret it. And though I pretty much just drink water I do sometimes have juice, but I still see it as preferable to something like soda. And I do make teas or strained infused oils without worrying about the lost fiber in not consuming the leaves mostly mostly because I prefer the mouth feel. I cut off the stems of mushrooms or broccoli just because I find them to fiberous and sometimes I cook them differently to help counteract that and eat them anyway and sometimes I just freeze them and use them for making or flavoring broths; I won't cut the root end of the onion when I'm dicing to help minimize tearing up so into the freezer for stock/broth; if I get older carrots, I'll peel them and sometimes I use the peelings for broths/stocks (and sometimes I just don't care enough throw them down the disposal when no one is looking). But, I generally do these things from a 'waste not...' I-grew-up-without-and-married-a-sicilian standpoint more than one of must consume the whole to achieve the nutritional perfection nature intended.<br><br>
In general though, I agree with you. I think there is not any great need to pick things apart in search of the <i>important</i> or <i>beneficial</i> part. And don't see the value in things like adding bran to boost white flour over just using whole wheat to start with. And I also suspect that if when looking at polar opposites neither of which turn out to be ideal, that logic would dictate the ideal would fall somewhere in the middle...so your center of the pendulum=whole foods makes a lot of sense. I think as a general philosophy it's probably ok, but I can also see this notion going dangerously arwy with the wrong person/wrong foods as well. All in all though I didn't get the impression you were on a dangerous track though so I say do what works for your family; and don't worry to much about boosting you can generally see a need if there is one...<br><br>
ps. sorry I rambled so much and this is incredibly long, it's a bad habit
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I know my philosophy isn't perfect - I do use olive oil. Honestly, I can't stand the taste of actual olives!<br><br>
And I think it's fine to use egg yolks for one recipe and whites for another recipe. Discarding part of the egg is what I take issue with.<br><br>
I also wouldn't begrudge anyone with allergies anything.<br><br>
Yeah, making my own butter, etc, would be rough. I'm not saying "avoid all overlap," but the NT recommendation towards whole milk AND butter doesn't strike me as being right. Even if butterfat does have some good nutrients that doesn't mean the rest of the milk doesn't also have good nutrients - maybe some that we haven't even discovered yet.<br><br>
I'm very wary of the modern definition of 'boosting nutrition', ie, "nutroceuticals". (how do you spell that?) I had vegan leanings for a while, and I was drinking B12 fortified soymilk. Since then, I've thought about that we are discovering new vitamins and phytonutrients all the time, and the chances of there being more than just B12 that's not available from plants is actually pretty high.<br><br>
I recognize that this isn't entirely practical in every way, but I think it's always important to recognize your underlying philosophy, and then try to figure out how to make your reality match it as closely as possible. Along with whole foods, I also am working towards a blend of variety and seasonal & local, and I think a lot about sustainability.<br><br>
Thanks for giving me your thoughts!<br><br>
Aven
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/notes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notes">: Interesting thread...
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>avendesora</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7261085"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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Yeah, making my own butter, etc, would be rough. I'm not saying "avoid all overlap," but the NT recommendation towards whole milk AND butter doesn't strike me as being right.</div>
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<br>
nt recommends making your own dairy products from raw whole milk AND making good use of things like buttermilk and whey, which are the byproducts.
 

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Ah-I see what you are saying. Then I think I got lost in terminology. I think it's fine to NATURALLY boost the nutritional content of food with super foods or extra fats-it is NEVER okay to add synthetic vitamins or fortify whole foods with "extra" nutrients. Very different. I'm on board. Even with all of our allergies I don't use anything synthetic at all, we get all our nutrition from foods that our bodies recognize. I think that's what you are saying.
 

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I think it is cool that when you ferment whole foods (vegetables, milk) you boost the nutritional content (vitamins and probiotics) in a natural way without dissecting out some part of food and throwing the other out.<br><br>
I do take a multi-mineral, even though I eat a nutrient dense diet, and probably always will because of depleated soils, pollutions' depleating effects on our bodies ect....<br><br>
Jen
 

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Yup! Depleted soils and bad farming practices. Even organic means little now!!<br><br><br>
I hide foods to boost nutrient content.
 

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subbing to this one, very interesting topic, i'm not sure where i stand
 

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I haven't read the whole thread because I feel like a bum this morning. No offense, Aven, because it's a great subject and you're a smart woman. I swear I'll read it all when I'm feeling more brainful. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">y:<br><br>
Anyway, I did have one thought. I wouldn't consider parts of foods to be not "whole foods", not in the examples you gave anyway. Each of the examples you gave were things that I can easily do in my own kitchen. You don't need fancy chemical engineering equipment to extract yolks from eggs or oil from seeds. People have been doing both for, literally, millennia. (I won't make the same argument for wheat bran, but I do not believe wheat is a natural food in our diets, so extracted bran or whole seed, I'm leery of considering it a valuable food.) Anyway, by your same logic, extracting the flax seed from the entire flax plant, or the wheat grain from the entire wheat plant, or the egg white and yolk from the shell, are all examples of failing to use the "entire food". But, we can't digest the stalks of flax or wheat. While there are a few people who do grind the eggshells and eat them, they're not especially digestable.<br><br>
Furthermore, when you talk about separating food parts, is it any different than processing foods - such as baking bread instead of eating the grain whole and raw? Cooking an egg as opposed to slurping it down raw? Fermenting or sprouting instead of eating grains, beans or vegetables as they come off the plant?<br><br>
How about the fact that cashews are very nutritious, but their hulls are highly poisonous? Same with rhubarb stalks and their leaves. Should we be eating the seeds of apples, with their high cyanide content? (Not enough to be lethal, unless you're eating them by the bowlful, but still, should we be eating them?)<br><br>
I agree with you that this is an issue worth contemplating. But, I think there's a huge chasm between the processing of foods that can only happen in an industrial setting and that which can happen on my kitchen counter. (With the possible exceptions being extracting bran from grain and refining sugar, but again, I don't think that either food is good even in it's "pure" state, and is only minimally worse in it's purified state.)
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>avendesora</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7261085"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm very wary of the modern definition of 'boosting nutrition', ie, "nutroceuticals". (how do you spell that?) I had vegan leanings for a while, and I was drinking B12 fortified soymilk. Since then, I've thought about that we are discovering new vitamins and phytonutrients all the time, and the chances of there being more than just B12 that's not available from plants is actually pretty high.</div>
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Ah, ok I see now. I totally didn't get that that was what you were referring too. And I would have to agree we avoid foods with added vitamins and such too. (I was thinking of using certain foods to boost the nutrition in things which I don't have a problem with...)
 

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I don't agree w/ boosting foods w/ vitamins, etc. If I pick up something in the store, and the ingredients list has any indication that a vitamin or mineral was put back into the food, I put the item back, because it shouldn't have been taken out in the first place.
 
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