Guest Post written by Georgia Bamber.
More and more these days we are hearing the word ‘REAL’ applied to the word FOOD.
It all seems a bit strange – isn’t all food REAL?
Yes, if you classify food as something you consume that provides your body with energy, most things you buy to eat could be classified as 'food'.
But if like me, you classify food as something provided to us by mother nature that both nourishes and satisfies - then most of what lines supermarket shelves these days wouldn't fall under that category of REAL food.
But why is that?
Unfortunately much (most) of the packaged food available is made with highly refined ingredients that have been highly processed. These products have been so distorted from the original ingredients that they were made from that they can only really be called food products or food like substances rather than actual food.
These food-like substances are so prolific in our diet it can be difficult to tell what really is food and what is not.
In a nutshell real foods are whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, dairy and meat. Or, they are foods that have been minimally processed using whole food and wholegrain ingredients and have only undergone a simple transformation like being cooked, ground, cultured or fermented – with most if not all nutrients left in tact.
Highly processed foods, on the other hand, are a completely different kettle of fish. These foods are usually very high in salt, sugar and fat. They are often full of artificial colours, preservatives and whole lot of other chemical ingredients that you don’t want to know the origin of. And that is not to mention the highly technical processes that many ingredients are subject too like extrusion, bleaching, chemical washes, excessive heating: the list could go on.
As a result of the processing techniques used to create products, all the extra salt, sugar and fat to boost flavour, the preservatives to add shelf life, the fillers to add bulk, and the colourings and flavourings to make the food look more appealing – highly processed foods are nutrient deficient, low in fibre and often calorie dense. In short they are just not good for us. The growing obesity epidemic and the catastrophic increase in lifestyle diseases such as heart disease and diabetes should be a huge red flag that our society is eating something very wrong.e.
You are what you eat….. make sure you are eating the good stuff!