If you’re looking to improve your overall well-being, help is at hand. Our food Expert and nutritionist Gilberth Gobeta is here to shed some light on what we mean by natural foods, and what foods you should be avoiding in order to stay healthy an Fit.
Let’s first understand the concept of “wholefoods” versus “fragmented” or processed foods. Processed foods have been stripped of one or more of their original elements, i.e. they are missing valuable nutrients, fibres or water. Natural foods, or Wholefoods (fresh whole fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, seeds, nuts, beans and legumes) have been provided for us by nature, and by their very nature, are the perfect foods for our bodies to thrive and survive on. We are, after all, part of nature, and as such are designed to thrive on natural foods. Whilst we can certainly exist on processed foods, we cannot (I believe) survive on these foods alone.
Natural food, as nature intended
Man-made/factory-made/synthetic foods or any foods, which have been highly sugared, salted and processed, are devoid of so many of the nutrients and life-giving substances needed for optimal health. Foods as close to their natural state, or as nature intended them to be consumed, are, in contrast, rich in health-giving nutrients that sustain and energize us. Fresh, raw fruits and vegetables are also full the “life-force” of nature, which along with vital vitamins, minerals and phyto-nutrients lead to a positive, natural state of physical and mental health and vibrancy.
Not so natural foods: what to avoid
These highly processed foods lead to ill-health and disease, and to the accumulation of body fat and weight gain. Under this banner come:
- White flour-based products which have a high glycaemic index and load (High GI or High GL)
- Refined grains, many commercial “boxed” cereals
- Refined sugars and syrups
- Sugary foods and drinks such as biscuits, pastries, cake, canned drinks and many sports drinks and sports products.
- Also problematic are foods that are high in both refined sugar AND commercial fats and trans fats. These include manufactured biscuits, many cereal and breakfast bars, processed protein and energy bars, cakes, pastries, chocolate bars, sweets and candies etc.
Doesn’t it make sense to move toward nature and simply eat natural foods?