10 Jan Keep It Real. Food That Nourishes
I often get asked what exactly is the difference between real food and processed food. Isn’t everything in the grocery store real food? In a word, no!
Here’s the difference:
Real food is food that comes directly from the earth, created by God. It is food that is kept as unaltered as possible. Dr. Robert Lustig wrote, “Real food doesn’t need a label.” How true! Where you find food that nourishes, you find real food. Real food adds to your overall health and wellness because it is packed with real essential vitamins and minerals. It is easy for your body to digest. Real food is nutrient dense. These are calories your body utilizes flawlessly for energy and burns efficiently. If the food has a relatively short shelf life, it is probably real, life-giving food.
On the other hand, processed food is man-made. It is mass produced and packaged. Processed food typically has an extensive list of man-made chemical ingredients along with a very long shelf life. The natural food fibers, enzymes, and vitamins have been chemically altered using stabilizers or entirely removed so that the foods will live longer on the shelf. Processed foods have food additives, colors, preservatives, trans-fats, and is often laden with sugar (High Fructose Corn Syrup). Processed food overstimulates your production of dopamine which is the pleasure neurotransmitter leading to cravings, empty calories, and yes, weight gain. These foods are all made from cheap ingredients, GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) and come from glyphosate (Roundup Ready) crops of soy, wheat, and corn. They are bankrupt of any real nutritional value. Eating these processed foods long term can lead to nutrient deficiency and disease.
Are you seeing the big picture yet?
One way you can assess the nutritional value of a food is to understand how animals, insects, and bacteria respond to it. Real food will certainly rot and break down. These foods deteriorate rather quickly as nature intended. Conversely, processed packaged foods remain unchanged in appearance for years and years. One man kept a McDonald’s hamburger for over 14 years-it never decayed. That fact is really quite astonishing. Consumption of packaged processed foods will destroy your internal ecosystem, disrupting or entirely wiping out your beneficial gut bacteria. All of which will increase infection, often leading to Leaky Gut Syndrome or Crohn’s Disease.
Blame Your Diet
I want to emphasize that processed food is void of true nutrition. These foods are filled with synthetic chemicals. Consumers can suffer from brain fog, memory issues and a myriad of chronic illness. Ingesting packaged junk foods long term can cause behavior issues. After eating processed foods, people young and old can become angry, nervous, hyper, and depressed. These folks have weight loss problems, migraines, high cholesterol, thyroid, joint, and endocrine (hormone) issues. Because processed foods have a steep sugar content void of true nutrition, processed food eaters consistently have Type 2 Diabetes. A diet composed primarily of these fake foods can increase your chance of heart disease, dementia, neurological problems, respiratory failure, and even cancer.
Nutritionally dense real foods level out your mood and mind. Real food maintains energy levels, leaving you happy and productive. These foods are filled with beneficial antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, all of which are essential for proper cell function. Your body knows exactly how to digest and absorb real food. People who eat real foods long term are less prone to illness and have a normal body mass without even trying.
Finding Real Food
Personally, I eat and recommend that my clients choose organic foods. Organically grown foods aren’t laden with sprayed chemicals or GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) and animal meat is not injected with steroids or antibiotics. Organic certification is your guarantee that due diligence has been performed to ensure the integrity of both the company and the product. Most organic foods are suitable for customers following lower carbohydrate diets such as paleo or primal diets.
One veritable way to eat real food is to choose to grow your own garden using Heirloom Seeds. These plants and seeds are old-time varieties, open-pollinated instead of using a hybrid, and handed down through multiple generations. Another good source is your local farmers market. Ask if their crops are organically grown. Food found at these markets has a potent vitamin and mineral retention because they are grown locally. Product shipped any distance loses its nutritional value relatively fast.
The truth is that today’s processed foods are an unhealthy unbalanced food system perpetuated by a political and economic system largely driven by corporate profit. For the sake of your health and the health of your family, nourish your body by keeping it real. Real food is the secret to proper health, processed food is not. Period.