Whole Foods Lifestyle - Yogurt and soy

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10-18-2010, 07:16 PM
Even after reading the descriptions of "whole" foods, I get a little confused. I read above that whole foods include soy milk, almond milk, yogurt...but aren't these all processed in some way? I mean milk does not drip from soy beans for instance, fat does as far as I know. Almonds...hmmm..not sure, I suppose they crush them in some way and somehow extract oil, but how do they make milk from these foods? Yogurt...ok it's made from non-fat milk, right? But what is added to make it yogurt? I'm sitting here reading the label as I eat Light & Fit yogurt...and it says non-fat milk, gelatin, fructose, food starch plus vitamins..then has some stuff I don't recognize, apparently for preserving and artificial color. I realize if I bought organic, that would eliminate some of these but it still seems to me that there has to be quite a bit of processing to make soy and almond milk and even yogurt. Can someone make this clearer to me? I'm trying to eat more whole foods but I get confused trying to figure out exactly what they ...I realize an apple is a whole food, whole grains are ...unless preservatives added?

10-18-2010, 08:54 PM
Very few people eat 100% whole foods, no process, etc but some might. I think you have to figure out what is best for you. Soy milk and almond milk are actually fairly easy to make at home. I know some people that have soy milk makers to make it easier and almond milk just requires a cheese cloth and a blender. Although commercial products may add things to them to help stabilize it. Even olive oil is processed to make it into oil.

My goal is to eat a mostly whole foods diet which means lots of legumes, veggies, some whole grains, some fruits and some nuts. I also have 'other' in there which includes foods that are processed either somewhat or maybe more than somewhat. The bulk of my diet isn't there. I accept things like commercial almond milk just because of convenience.

10-19-2010, 01:58 AM
Ok, I understand what you are saying. I guess I just think too much! LOL I guess I am not sure where to stop when I start allowing other foods into my "whole foods" idea...you know? I feel if I justify some food then it opens the door to others...and I don't know exactly where to draw the line. Obviously most packaged foods I guess, but it does get kind of confusing.

10-19-2010, 09:17 AM
An 'easy' step is to look at the ingredients and if it takes you more than a few seconds to read them, put it back :) I practice that a lot.

10-19-2010, 09:42 AM
I'm a scientist, and if the ingredients list includes some chemical that I work with in the lab, it's not going into my body!

10-19-2010, 11:46 AM
It's not very realistic to eat 100% whole foods, so most people think it's ok to add what is called, "minimally processed foods." This would include things like yogurt, soymilk, bread, cheese, etc. Basically things you could have made at home in the "olden days" or if you lived on a farm having access to your own grain or fresh milk or just plain had more time to make these things, you could do them at home yourself. As Nelie mentioned, you can make your own soymilk and almond milk at home easily. Yogurt too.

As far as yogurt, I don't personally eat that brand you mentioned as it is filled with artificial sweetners which I do not consider a whole food or good for anyone. You can make your own yogurt at home with a yogurt maker quite safely, or even in a pot on the stove. Several of my friends of Russian/Greek ancestry have mother's that make it this way. They basically boil milk, add lemon juice and cover and let it sit in the oven for hours until it turns to yogurt. Personally, I would worry about food safety as I have never done it this way and would stick to a yogurt maker or buying less processed brands. You don't want your yogurt to have corn syrup or artifical sweetners.

I buy Chobani brand and the ingredients are: non fat milk, evaporated cane juice (which is sugar, btw) and vanilla. They then list the cultures they add.

This is my favortie blog about cooking the whole foods way, check out the listing of stocking her natural pantry. http://www.101cookbooks.com/build_a_natural/

Good luck!

10-19-2010, 12:06 PM
I have been trying to eat more and more whole foods and it seems every month I am adding/subtracting something new. This month I am subtracting HFCS which means buying natural ketchup and going to Panera for my bread. :D Yes, I could make my own but Panera does a fine job. Their 7-grain loaf has HFCS, though I do not know why. The others that interest me do not, though. I'm partial to whole wheat and sourdough.

I've given up milk, though I am not militant about it. I'm really not militant about any of my foods. I just do the best I can. I've decided that cow's milk isn't meant for humans, so I don't drink it. But my kids prefer it and I still cook with it and I eat ice cream.

I like Nelie's suggestion of taking a gander at the ingredients and just judging from that as to whether or not it's something you want to put into your body. I do that frequently. If it has ingredients that are not whole foods, I often will not purchase it.