Real foods are single ingredient foods. There’s a lot of data that suggests people need to return to eating real foods, not the processed types with additives man was never intended to eat. For instance, many foods now contain petroleum. You know, Vaseline or the substance you use to lubricate machinery. Why would manufacturers do such a thing? Are they trying to poison the public? Is it harmful? First, let’s examine the reason. Shelf life is important for almost all products. In the case of baked goods, using the petroleum product, mineral oil, to replace olive or vegetable oils in baked goods helps prevent spoilage. Unlike vegetable or olive oil, it doesn’t become rancid and extends the shelf life. Your bread stays fresh and donuts remain mold free for weeks longer.
You may not be getting what you think, even if you’re trying to eat healthy.
The food industry provides a lot of deception, so even if you’re looking for healthy alternatives, you may not be getting what you want. Are you looking for an alternative to table sugar and decide to make honey your choice? Back away from that cute little teddy bear that claims to contain the sweet delight. Because of lack of standardization, almost anything can qualify as honey as long as there’s some in it. Honey is often diluted with high-fructose corn syrup to stretch it and make it less expensive. Check the label for added ingredients. It should only contain one ingredient, honey. If it says honey product or blend, walk away. Sometimes, even the most discriminating people are fooled. There are tests you can do once you get it home, but unfortunately, then it’s just too late. Buying raw honey from a local vendor might be your answer.
Don’t be fooled by an illusion of being a healthy alternative.
You see it all the time. The public becomes aware of a health issue, such as gluten intolerance, then suddenly you see gluten free everywhere. Grain such as barley, rye and wheat contain gluten, but there are grains that are naturally gluten-free, too. These include corn, rice, some ancient grains and oats. Many manufacturers got on the gluten-free train and created alternatives to high gluten products. Unfortunately, to make the change, some of the protein was lowered and far more calories came from sugar, which is worse for children and adults if they don’t have a gluten intolerance or sensitivity.
How should you choose your food to make sure it’s real food?
Going back to the basics is always the best. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables and create the meal yourself. Most canned vegetables and some fruit are appropriate, but you must read the labels to check for added ingredients. If there’s added salt, rinse them first before cooking. Never use processed meat, but choose high quality protein like lean chicken, beef, fish or eggs.
- While eating real foods isn’t as easy as picking up carry-out, it’s worth the effort. You can make it easier by creating meal plans and making meals ahead to freeze. It’s a good way to aid in weight loss, too.
- Check labels when you buy. Look for added ingredients. Most packaged food contains preservatives and additives for flavor that was processed out of the food.
- Most real food is lower in sugar, higher in fiber and contains more nutrients than their highly processed alternatives.
- Real foods help you maintain a healthy microbiome, maintain a higher amount of antioxidants and can even help prevent sugar cravings and help you to lose weight. Living healthier, however, is the biggest reason to stick with real food.
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