As a nutritionist, it’s probably no secret that I recommend my clients focus on eating whole, unprocessed real food.
Now, the fact that we’re even using the term Real Food & fake food, or that we have health food stores versus a regular grocery stores, is deeply disturbing to me.
The purpose of food is to fuel our bodies so that our minds and body can work in tandem so that we can be happy & productive in our lives and achieve our goals.
Real food supplies us with vitamins and minerals that have hundreds of different roles in the body – muscle contractions (like your heart beat or when you lift weights), wound healing, immunity and so many more.
Real food ensures we think clearly and have sustained energy throughout the day.
Real food helps to keep our bones strong and maintain our vision as we age.
Real food supports our local economy and is more generally more humane for both the animals and the workers involved.
Real food tastes so delicious!
So what do I consider to be real food?
Meat, fish & seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts & seeds, and oils and fats.
These foods offer the best bang for their buck in terms of nutrient density. Nutrient density is the ratio between nutrients and calories.
For vegetarians or vegans, their list will need to swap out the animal protein and include some beans & legumes. These are not as nutrient dense as animal protein sources, but if eaten in the proper combinations they will offer a good supply of amino acids to ensure an adequate protein intake.
So back to the nutrient density
I do think it’s important to take a step back and re-evaluate what we put into our bodies and why.
A great way I like explain this is a concept that I’ve borrowed from from the creators of the Whole30, Dallas & Melissa Hartwig. Everytime you are going to eat something, simply ask yourself, “is this food making me healthier, or less healthy?”
Make your decision and then accept it.
So I’m not suggesting anyone never again have a piece of cake at a birthday party. We can’t deny the fact that we live in a modern society and that desserts and snacks are interwoven into our celebrations. However I do think we should all be more mindful and choosier about what we put in our bodies.
The term, “You Are What You Eat” has never been truer.
The harsh reality is if we load our bodies with artificial, processed, fake foods that’s what we are going to become. The inflammation & damage that these foods cause will lead us down the road of illness, where we need prescription medications and artificial joints to merely exist, but not really ‘live’ our life.
Fortunately, real food is definitely making a comeback. Local Farmer’s markets are growing strong. Getting to know your farmers, growers and suppliers has become valuable and important.
We need to ask questions about how our food was grown or raised, even if they seem tough at first. We need to do this so that we can continue to progress, not just for our own health, but for the health of the animals and for our planet.