Any time a food is processed it loses some of its nutritional value, and it puts more of a burden on the digestive system.
An orange has around 60 calories, 12 grams of unprocessed sugar, and 4 grams of fibre. However, just 1 cup of orange juice has twice the calories, twice the sugar (processed sugar), and zero fibre.
Eat Natural to lift your mood
During a talk to promote his new book, The Chemistry of Calm, Dr. Emmons told an audience of 280 people how our diets affect our ability to handle anxiety and stress.
We’re putting things into our bodies that don’t belong there,” said Emmons. “Our bodies evolved over thousands of years to eat natural, unprocessed foods. Can we metabolically handle all the chemicals that are now being added? And how many nutrients are we losing to processing?” He suggested we follow one of Michael Pollan’s food rules: “Don’t eat anything your great-great-grandmother wouldn’t have recognized as food.”
Emmons suggested that we eat like we do in the summer, all year round. “Eat light, fresh foods, including lots of green vegetables and colourful fruits,” he said. “These foods are high in antioxidants and rich in phytonutrients, both of which are needed for optimal brain health.” And, of course, he advised, buy them free of chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers.
“The right foods will help to balance your brain chemistry by fuelling the production of Seratonin and other brain chemicals that we need to make us more resilient,” Emmons said. Then he went on to explain how the wrong foods can lead to the number-one cause of disability in the United States: depression. “Do you know how much time it takes, once a patient has uttered the word ‘depression’ during a doctor’s visit, to get a prescription for an SSRI [selective seratonin uptake inhibitor]? About four and a half minutes,” said Emmons. “But after six months of drug therapy, the best rate of remission is only 11 percent; and the average is just 4 percent!”
Eat Natural to Lose Weight
The easiest way to determine how natural a food is, is to think about this: how many steps does it take for that food to get to your plate?
By eating whole, natural, unprocessed foods you will get more vitamins and minerals. Whenever a food is processed it loses some of its natural goodness. Furthermore,
processed foods are not as easily digested as natural foods.
Processed foods are usually filled with sugars, refined carbohydrates, and fats. Those ingredients provide a recipe for fat gain. Also, processed foods are filled with fillers and preservatives so they have a longer shelf life.
By eating unprocessed foods you are not filling your body with empty calories and you’re providing it will the fuel it needs to operate and regenerate.
Here is a brief list of whole, unprocessed foods that you should be eating. The following list is by no means complete, but it should give you an idea of the foods you should be eating. Stick to this list and you will be rewarded with a lean body.
-All fresh fruits and vegetables (need ideas: take a walk through the produce isle)
-Frozen fruits and vegetables that don’t have any added sugar or other ingredients
Raw (or dry roasted) nuts such as almonds, pecans, walnuts, peanuts, pistachios, etc
-Raw (or dry roasted) seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc
-Lean meats such as chicken, turkey, beef, venison, etc
-Fresh or frozen fish with no additives or additional ingredients
-Dry or canned beans/legumes with no added sugar or preservatives
here are exceptions to the one ingredient rule. For example salsa: only buy salsa that has tomatoes, onions, peppers, and spices, don’t buy salsa with added sugar or preservatives. Yes there was some processing involved to create the salsa, but there is only natural, healthy ingredients. (Side note: sugar and fructose corn syrup are natural, but they are added sugar, and ingredients you should avoid). Use your best judgment.
If you ate nothing but foods that fit into that list, you will lose unwanted fat and boost your overall health. Obviously in day to day life we won’t manage to eat only these kinds of foods but you can aid weight loss by trying to cut out as much processed food as possible.
If you are unsure of whether or not a food fits into the above descriptions, just look at the food label. More often than not there should only be one ingredient. Food labels list foods in order of the largest quantity first, so if you see glucose, fructose, sugar fruit etc. listed second, third or forth on the list of ingredients you can be sure that the item isn’t natural and consists mostly of sugar!
Note – keep in mind: real food rots or spoils. That should help you to figure out what classifies as “real food”.