We want to think the foods we consume are in fact nutritious. We know they taste great. They are delivered fast. And, nobody wants to harm us, do they?
Nevertheless, it may shock you to learn that our food industry is really a profit making segment of our society. They compete for every penny they can get. Their stockholders are interested in the optimal rate of return on their investment. The pressure, therefore, is on the food industry to produce a product that’s both tasty to keep you coming back for more and profitable at the same time.
Nourishment is just not uppermost in the thoughts of the stockholders or the food manufacturers. However, it must be important to you as your health and life depend on you consuming nutritious food.
So, that brings us to some features of good, nourishing food. Good foods are identified by these 4 characteristics:
1) Good foods keep their nutrient qualities. This means they go through as little processing as possible. Processing regularly extracts fiber and other vitamins and minerals from whole foods. White flour, as an example, has the nutritious bran and germ removed. This produces a more “pure” looking product with a higher concentration of calories and a higher glycemic index. White flour is used to produce most baked goods. You need to understand that many of these processed foods have had nourishing components eliminated.
2) Good foods don’t have refined carbohydrates, predominantly sugar, added to them. Seemingly healthy foods, like multi-grain cereals, almost always have several forms of sugar added to make them more appetizing. All of the sugars and sugar substitutes lack dietary value and may cause harm.
Sugars help make people fat and have been linked to numerous illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, heart conditions, hypertension, osteoarthritis and some cancers. There is most likely no valid health reason for eating foods with added sugar.
3) Good foods should not have chemicals, hormones, antibiotics or drugs included with them. Fertilizers, pesticides, growth hormones are an insignificant part in any individual meal we eat. Nevertheless, the steady introduction of these compounds into our bodies causes apprehension in some circles. The European Union has banned growth hormones in beef production because of possible human health risks. A Consumer Reports inspection found unsafe amounts of pesticides on some fresh produce, including products grown in the United States.
4) Good foods are combined together to offer each of the essential vitamins, minerals and fiber for a hearty diet. To grow healthy we require the correct nutrients every day. These include vitamins, minerals, fiber and complete protein. Consuming foods for the reason that they taste good and are convenient may not provide optimal nutrition.
Overall, all of us need to examine our diets to cut back on processed foods and manufactured foods with refined carbohydrates. Organically grown fruits, vegetables, and meats help cut down on contaminants that could help produce sickness. And, we should learn to combine foods in a systematic approach to supply optimal nutrition. These action steps allow more good food into our bodies and result in better health and a longer life.