Whole foods are plant foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible, before being consumed. Examples of whole foods include whole grains, tubers, legumes, fruits, vegetables
There is some confusion over the usage of the term surrounding the inclusion of certain foods, in particular animal foods. The modern usage of the term whole foods diet is now widely synonymous with “whole foods plant based diet” with animal products, oil and salt no longer constituting whole foods.
The earliest use of the term in the post-industrial age appears to be in 1946 in The Farmer, a quarterly magazine published and edited from his farm by F. Newman Turner, a writer and pioneering organic farmer. The magazine sponsored the establishment of the Producer Consumer Whole Food Society Ltd, with Newman Turner as president and Derek Randal as vice-president