We’re constantly bombarded by so-called “health” foods, whether its in the grocery store isles, TV commercials, Instagram feeds and almost all magazines out there. I can’t tell you how many times I see the words “Organic” or “Natural” in the front of packaged foods…it’s like the “gangnam style” trend for food right now.
So, the questions to ask are: Are these foods really healthy? Is organic healthy? Is natural healthy?
I hope I can help you in answering some of these questions. Read below.
But, let me start off by saying that the BEST healthy food choices you can make are those that DON’T come in a pre-packaged box. WHOLE foods that you have to cut, chop, clean, cook and then eat are usually your best bet for wholesome nutrition. Yes, I’m talking about the old-fashioned veggies (carrots, tomatoes, kale, spinach, potatoes, celery, etc.) and chicken, turkey, wild-game, pork. You know…old-school food?! LOL!
MYTH 1: ORGANIC means HEALTHY
/>Maybe. By definition, organic means that it was produced without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides or other artificial agents. So yes, if you’re eating veggies that were grown in your own garden in your backyard without the use of fertilizers, you are in for a TREAT!
Different story when you’re talking about organic cookies or organic breakfast cereal. The corn they used to make the cereal or the wheat for the flour in the cookies might be organic, but, have you read the rest of ingredients in the Nutritional Label in the back? I can bet you that the second or third ingredient is sugar or some other name for it. While the sugar might be organic, it’s still sugar. And we all know, sugar is not your body’s BFF.
MYTH 2: ALL NATURAL Flavors means HEALTHY
Petroleum is a naturally occurring fossil fuel. It is a liquid mixture of hydrocarbons present in certain rock strata that can be extracted to produce what your car needs (unless you drive a Prius). Is it natural? YUP! Can you eat it? Well…you could. Should you eat it? Umm…NO! Would you eat it? I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t.
/>My point above is that just because it says “NATURAL” flavors, doesn’t mean that this natural stuff is actually food and nourishment for your body. Hey, wild mushrooms are natural, but some are not edible and could actually cause you harm. You see where I’m going?
Another important fact is that sadly, the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) in the USA does NOT regulate these “natural flavors”. As long as the manufacturer adds that term on the ingredients list, they’re not really required to disclose what these flavors really are.
Do you really want to play the guessing game with your food?
MYTH 3: GLUTEN FREE means HEALTHY
Gluten is a mixture of two proteins in wheat and other grains. It’s what makes the dough elastic and malleable. It’s really like the glue that holds the food together.
Unless you’re a celiac (a person who doesn’t tolerate gluten in their bodies, a real health condition) you’re not really benefiting from going gluten-free. Don’t get me wrong, going gluten-free isn’t bad, unless we’re talking about your wallet because these products tend to be expensive, it’s just something that you don’t NEED to do.
/>Why do some people claim going gluten-free has been beneficial for them to lose weight? Hmm, well, have they gone off wheat completely? Meaning…they eat less or no bread, or any flour-related foods? Maybe that’s the reason, and not really the gluten.
Again, if you’re buying processed, pre-packaged foods that say Gluten-Free on the label, but contains tons of sugar, additives, artificial colors, sodium, MSG, you’re not really joining the healthy side. You’ve just fallen for a popular marketing trick.
MYTH 4: Made with REAL FRUIT!
Oh…so, before, they made it with “fake” fruit? I’m confused.
This is a statement that you’ll usually find in juice boxes, kid’s cereals, candy, and others. I can’t stress the above enough: have you read the Nutritional Label? Even though they might have used real fruit to make the juice or food, it has been processed and re-processed, probably loosing most of its nutritional value on the way, and, might I add, flavor. To make up for this loss in flavor, they’ll add other stuff that isn’t good for you, like, yes, you guessed it! SUGAR!
If you want the REAL yummy-ness and goodness of nourishment, GRAB AN APPLE! Eat the banana, eat the orange, grape, strawberry, blueberries, etc! Eat the WHOLE fruit. Does fruit have sugar? Yes it does, but it also has fiber, vitamins, antioxidants and an array of nutrients that nourish your body and not just calm your cravings.
Your BEST bet is to eat as much whole foods as you can and only eat a small percentage of pre-packaged, processed foods. If you’re lucky enough to be super strong and determined, kick out the processed foods altogether.
Make smart choices, read nutritional labels (if you don’t know how, watch THIS VIDEO and THIS VIDEO to learn) and don’t be fooled by the nice, colorful “organic” packaging in the front. After all, you only get ONE body in this lifetime and only YOU can learn how to keep it healthy, strong and nourished.