Whole foods are generally those that remain close to their state in nature. They do not have added sugars, starches, flavorings, or other manufactured ingredients. They are not primarily produced in a factory; in this way, they are the opposite of processed foods. Because they are not manufactured, they are not manipulated to be addictive like many foods containing added sugar. Choosing mostly whole foods will result in a nutritious diet that is naturally higher in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
A whole foods diet is not a specific eating plan that can be tied to a particular book or expert. It may also be referred to as "eating clean" (although that can imply a value judgment that a whole foods diet doesn't necessarily have) and has become popular in recent years. The Whole30 diet may sound similar, but that is a temporary, highly restrictive elimination diet. Close comparisons to a whole foods diet are the flexitarian diet and TLC diet, which are healthy and balanced eating plans.