After attempting to eat as healthy as possible for the past few years, I have finally managed to make the switch to an all natural diet that consists of “real food.” This post is the first one of my natural foods diet series where I will explain the diet and the process I went through to make the switch.
When it comes to eating healthy, it has been one of my main goals since I graduated high school. It all started when I wanted to bulk up and gain some weight and has since become part of my daily life.
When I started P90X awhile back, I really cleaned up my diet and ate better than I ever have before. However, I ended up quitting the program after Phase 1 because I really hated working out inside. Luckily I managed to keep my motivation to eat healthy and completely switched over to a natural food diet six months ago.
Why Follow This Diet?
There are many reasons why someone would make the switch to an all natural food diet. Eating processed foods that contain high amounts of sugar, preservatives, and artificial ingredients is not a good lifestyle decision.
Not only do these foods cause a variety of health issues, but they also affect your mood, your fitness levels, and your overall well-being. The old saying of “you are what you eat” is about as true as it gets. If you eat natural, healthy food you will more than likely be a healthy individual.
I personally made the change to a real food diet because I want to eat as healthy as possible. I love being in shape and do not want to suffer any illnesses as a result of what I eat. For the most part, I do not consider it a diet but instead a lifestyle. Eating healthy is something that needs to be done long-term.
Besides the health factors, I also love the idea of eating natural foods that actually come from Mother Nature herself. Not weird concoctions that were created in a science lab somewhere. I remember high school chemistry class pretty well and would never think of eating anything I made as a result of one of my experiments.
I also try to buy organic and locally grown food as often as possible. In the movie Food, Inc., they hit the nail on the head when they said that every purchase we make is like voting. Buying from organic and local farmers is a great way to support the people who care about the environment and treat their employees with respect.
6 More Reasons To Make The Switch
Still not sold on the idea of eating real food? Here are six common food additives that are found in processed foods and why they are bad news for your health:
High Fructose Corn Syrup
It seems like high fructose corn syrup is added to everything these days. Even a lot of wheat breads contain it despite the fact that they are marketed as “health food.” It has been linked to increased obesity levels, heart disease, diabetes, and has been known to cause overeating in some individuals. It may even contain mercury. Talk about delicious…
In order to avoid high fructose corn syrup, many people make the switch to diet soda and other sugar-free alternatives. Unfortunately, aspartame is one of the main ingredients used to sweeten sugar-free products. I can still remember the days of drinking a few cans of diet soda every day. Man am I glad those days are behind me.
Aspartame produces an excessive amount of formaldehyde in the human body, even in small amounts found in a typical can of diet soda. When consumed, it breaks down into aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol. Not good.
Believe it or not, as much as 40 percent of the food at the grocery store is made up of hydrogenated oils. They are commonly found in packaged cereals, cookies, crackers, chips, pizzas, and candy. Why are they used? Because they are cheaper than butter.
Unfortunately, these oils are made up of trans fat (and not the good kind). The oils do not occur normally in nature and are produced using harsh chemicals and heat. They can mess with your cholesterol levels and cause a variety of health issues.
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
MSG is yet another ingredient that seems to pop up everywhere. It also shows up with different names depending on the product it’s in. More or less, it takes the flavor of any food and makes it better. That’s why it’s added to everything including spices, chips, salad dressings, meats, and fast food.
While MSG does not cause problems for everyone, it has been known to cause issues including diabetes, migraines and headaches, and obesity.
Ever eat something that looked really colorful but wasn’t a fruit or vegetable? If so, it probably contained at least one artificial coloring. Colorings are added to tons of different products including candy, meats, baked goods, and drinks.
Some of the worst include Yellow 6, Blue 1 and 2, and Red 3. All of these may increase the chances of tumors and other diseases in the human body. Bad I tell you.
Last but not least, we have potassium bromate. This substance is typically added to bread products to increase their volume and make the crumbs look better (I think). It’s been shown that most of the bromate breaks down in the body, but the little that remains can cause cancer in animals.
It’s also worth mentioning that potassium bromate has been banned in almost every country except for the United States and Japan.
In the next post of the series, I’ll talk about what I consider to be “real food.”