There are many misconceptions about health and dieting, so I’d like to take some time to share the knowledge I’ve gained since shifting to a real food diet. Most people know to some degree that the food you eat relates directly to your state of health. It’s common knowledge that controlling your food intake can help you to lose weight and correct health problems related to obesity. But that’s where things begin to get foggy…
Many people that I know believe that eating for health or weight loss means consuming any store-bought foods that are low calorie, low fat, low carb or low sodium. The problem is that, while consuming these foods may initially help you shed some weight, they can cause a large assortment of other health issues in the long run. This is because the majority of store-bought foods (at least in the U.S.) are filled with unnatural ingredients, like preservatives, artificial sweeteners and coloring agents that can cause cancer, ADHD, skin conditions, cell death, headaches, inflammation, asthma and more.
If you’re confused about real vs. processed food, here’s a simple breakdown.
Real foods = foods that can be found in nature and are minimally processed. (No bleaching or other chemical processing, no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, not genetically modified)
Processed foods = what we find in boxes, bags, cartons or cans in the inner aisles of most grocery stores and in fast food restaurants. Contains artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors and highly refined oils.
If processed foods are so unhealthy, why are they legal in the U.S.?
I used to wonder the same thing. Not too long ago, when I would hear that a certain food ingredient caused cancer, I would simply ignore it and sarcastically say, “Everything causes cancer.” You probably know a lot of people who have the same reaction.
But the truth is, the unnatural ingredients in our food are tested and regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA regulation typically means that a certain (potentially harmful) ingredient is allowed in food as long as it’s in a small amount that is generally recognized as safe (GRAS). So, in other words, one store-bought cupcake or bag of sour cream and cheddar chips won’t kill you, but a diet comprised of processed foods over an extended period of time will more than likely be detrimental to your health.
Many of the artificial ingredients present in U.S. processed foods are now banned in other countries due to the belief that they are unsafe for consumption. They remain legal in the U.S. because there is no solid evidence that eating a small amount will cause health issues. However, a recent study shows that Americans are overall much less healthy than people in other developed nations.
In addition, processed foods make money. Lots and lots of money. Many well known processed foods made in mass quantities with cheap ingredients and sold for low prices, so people buy them.
So, if processed food is destroying your health, can you be healed?
Yes! I’ve heard plenty stories of people who have healed various health problems through food. As Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Below is a pretty extensive list of links about health maladies that were healed through diet change.
• How I healed my chronic fatigue syndrome in 6 months by Green Thickies
• How I reversed my son’s asthma by Weed ‘Em and Reap
• How I healed my son’s eczema by The Sprouting Seed
• Adrenal Fatigue: How I reversed Melasma by Healthy Living How To
• Kristen’s Story: The Healing Power of Food by Stupid Easy Paleo
• Why I don’t do NSAIDS by Healing for Real
• Autism Recovery with the GAPS diet: One mother’s story by CHEESESLAVE
• How I’m healing cavities without dentistry by The Paleo Mama
• How to get rid of Candida for good by Mary Vance NC
• Healing Prostate Cancer with an alkaline diet by Cancer Compass
I think it’s amazing that diet can have such a huge impact on our health. The best way to stay healthy is to be informed so you can make smart choices about what you’re eating and what you’re feeding your family. Are you using diet and nutrition to better your health? If so, please feel free to share your story.
Food additives, safety, and organic foods (2012)
What are the problems with processed foods?
Top 10 Definitions of Real Food
The 10 Worst Food Ingredients
U.S. Health in International Perspective:Shorter Lives, Poorer Health (2013)
Thanks for reading! I’m Alex from Caretactics, where I blog about natural living, real food, mindfulness and wellness. My goal is to use my writing to share information that will lead you to improve the world by caring about others, the environment and yourself. I believe in the healing power of real food and have a love for all things natural.
DISCLAIMER: This post is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease or an alternative to medical advice. The owner of this blog is not a licensed medical professional.