The western diet is characterized by a high presence of processed products. On the other hand, in the diet of our ancestors royal food and fresh food dominated. We give you 9 reasons to get it back.
Processed foods are tasty, quick, and easy to prepare, making things easier for many fast-paced people. However, they can also negatively affect health; For this reason, choosing real food and fresh food is one of the best long-term health bets.
Also known by its English name real food, real food can be defined as “that which is as close as possible to its natural state”. It is composed of fresh, whole and unprocessed (or very little processed) foods.
There is no closed or exhaustive list of foods that fit under this umbrella. But most are found in the groups of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, eggs, oils, whole grains, dairy, meat and fish.
Beyond health, there are very varied reasons why you should join the trend of real food. Do you want to find out which one is yours? In the following article, we will tell you about the highlights and how to make a proper and affordable purchase.
Reasons to choose real food
1. Nutrient supply
The body needs vitamins, minerals, proteins, or lipids to function and develop normally. The best way to contribute them is through fresh, whole and little processed foods.
Most fresh, whole foods are carriers of one or more groups of nutrients important to health. Instead, these are often lacking in industrialized foods, which, on the contrary, tend to contain excessive amounts of other harmful ingredients (such as salt, refined flours or trans fats).
2. Presence of phytonutrients
The nutrients necessary for the daily functioning of the body are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. Apart from these, there are other bioactive compounds with an important role in human health: phytochemicals.
A wide variety of them are known as probiotics, antioxidants, carotenes, glucosinolates, phytoestrogens, etc. Everyone plays an active role in the modulation of the immune system and other specific health support activities.
3. Greater variety of choice
Contrary to what many people think, there is a wide range of possibilities to choose from within real food. Not only between fruits and vegetables, but also in terms of whole grains, fish, cheese or nuts.
Little by little, new foods can be added to the usual eating routine. In this way, nutrient intake is expanded, the range of flavors and menus become less routine.
4. More flavor in the dishes
This benefit is undeniable and, perhaps, could come first. All real food and home recipes taste delicious. You may even end up awakening an unknown passion for cooking.
5. More healthy fats
Some of the freshest and simplest foods include the best sources of lipids. Perhaps olive oil stands out above all, but you can also talk about avocados, nuts or blue fish.
6. Less added sugars
Most fresh foods do not contain any added sugar. On the other hand, the same does not happen in many of the manufactured products. Where they are most abundant is among sweets, pastries, cookies, commercial sauces, dairy desserts or prepared dishes.
The recommendations of the competent authorities point out the need to reduce their intake to below 10% of total daily calories. On a standard 2,000 calorie diet, this would be equivalent to 2 dessert spoons a day.
Notably the sugar contained in fruits cannot be compared to the latter, since, being part of its matrix, it does not behave like the previous ones. However, it is necessary to be vigilant with juices and also with yogurts and certain dairy products. Many of them may have added sweeteners.
7. More benefits of real food: reduced risk of disease
Switching from processed and ultra-processed foods to real food can reduce the occurrence of some health problems. There are scientific data that corroborate this claim; the most abundant, related to a lower incidence of cardiovascular pathologies.
8. Lower environmental impact
Dietary choices are one of the possible strategies to minimize the environmental impact of the food production system. Some changes could have an impact on greenhouse gas emissions, water use, or decreased biodiversity.
Reduce your intake of processed foods and ultra-processed is one of them. But this is not enough. As the authors point out Richie and rosie It is necessary to reduce the amount of dairy and meat in the diets for these changes to be significant.
9. Financial savings
Prefer to Eating healthier and without processed does not have to be more expensive. It is enough to know how to choose the right products, avoid wasting food and, also, all those superfluous purchases.
How to choose real food in a healthy and economical way
It is easy to think that eating healthy and choosing real food has a high cost, but this is not always the case and it can even be cheaper in the long term by reducing the incidence of pathologies.
To get started, It is highly recommended to go shopping at the market or in small specialized stores. Responsible people can advise on which are the most affordable products (for being seasonal or self-produced) and the optimal way to prepare and use them.
In these stores, it is also possible to buy fruits, vegetables, nuts or cereals in bulk. This is very interesting to be able to adjust the quantities especially in those houses in which few people live or for products that are used in small quantities.
Also, opt for the real food it goes beyond the foods you choose. Too understands other habits such as planning menus, making grocery lists, avoiding waste or throwing away leftover food. Beyond buying expensive or cheap, these behaviors allow you to save in the long term.
Going to buy in a planned way and with a closed list allows you to avoid impulse purchases or whims, products that, in general, are not necessary, but completely expendable foods.
Basing your diet on real food is a step towards a healthier life
There are many reasons to eat real food and doing so can have health, organoleptic and economic benefits. Without a doubt, fresh foods are the ones that should be part of the daily menu.
Of course, you also have to keep in mind that it is not dangerous or wrong to use processed to get out of a hurry or prepare a recipe. However, they are not suitable products to be part of the usual diet.
In addition, it should be emphasized that real food is just one part of a healthy lifestyle. In order to enjoy all its benefits, it is necessary to have an active life, rest the right hours, stay away from stress or cultivate social relationships.
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