Whether you’re thinking of switching to a real-food diet, or if you’re already eating this way but wanting to know more reasons to keep going, here are 10 benefits that we think are the most important to consider (and these are just the tip of the iceberg).
Continue reading to learn the top ten benefits of eating real foods!
#1 Not Processed
“Real food” is food that is as close to its natural state as possible. It hasn’t been overly processed or refined, and is free of chemicals, preservatives and additives – it comes from as close to the earth as possible into your kitchen!
Things like canning, freezing, drying and adding flavors alters food’s natural state and causes it to lose much of its nutritional value. Plus, with added sugars, salt, unhealthy fats and chemicals, overly processed food is proven to be harmful to your health.
Real food, on the other hand, is proven to:
- Prevent cancer and other diseases
- Prevent depression and make you happier
- Lead to living better, for longer
Think about it this way: real food taken straight from the earth naturally has all the things we need to be healthy.
#2 No Chemical Additives
Those additives we mentioned? They get their own spot on our list because they make foods way worse, including the rise of chronic illness in the US.
Here are some reasons why chemicals are added to processed food:
- To give products more shelf life
- To improve food taste and texture
- To get new products on the shelf quicker (the FDA doesn’t even approve many of them due to this outdated law)
Companies looking to make money primarily manufacture overly processed foods. The chemicals added to processed food continue to be prevalent because they aren’t closely regulated.
The American Academy of Pediatrics’ advice? Just don’t eat processed food because you can’t avoid harmful chemicals. However, when you’re informed you can make healthier choices, and real food is the best way to go.
#3 Nutrient Dense
Processing foods removes many of those great nutrients your body needs! For instance, when flour is refined, the fiber and minerals get removed as part of the processing.
What processed food is lacking in nutrients, real food has in droves. Besides being rich in vitamins and minerals, you get the perfect combination of nutrients for energy and vitality.
We’ve all heard the old adage, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” While the jury’s still out if that’s true or not, we do know that apples have the perfect combination of natural sugar, fiber and other minerals.
So while apples are sweet, you don’t get the sugar crash you get with candy or refined grains, and your body is able to convert the food into energy instead of over-producing insulin, which is what causes the sugar crash.
The amazing nutrients packed into real foods can help you sleep better, have more energy, and improve your well being!
#4 Low Sugar
Processed foods have added, processed, and fake sugar that’s worse than sugar in real food because:
- Refined sugar is linked to diabetes, obesity, and more health issues, most likely because it’s present in higher amounts and the food itself is lacking the proper nutrients that help your body process the sugar
- Many artificial sweeteners are known to have similar negative effects to refined sugar
- High fructose corn syrup is genetically modified
- The processed food lacks nutrients that help your body process and balance blood sugar
Eating foods with too much sugar all the time can lead to diabetes and other issues, which none of us want to deal with – so why not avoid them? Sugar can cause inflammation and poor gut health too, which are the cause of many health problems.
Here’s the amazing news – not only does real food not have excess or harmful sugar, it actually helps you crave sugar less! Don’t believe us? Stay off processed sugar for 1-2 weeks and see how you feel.
#5 Heart Healthy
Perhaps the top reason we LOVE real foods is its positive influence on heart health!
Here are the top ways eating a real-food diet can show your heart some healthy love!
- Real foods are rich in healthy fats like Omega-3’s, which are proven to lower cholesterol
- Real foods are low in unhealthy fats (like saturated and trans fats)
- Eating real foods can keep your arteries from getting clogged, which generally leads to heart disease
Studies have shown that people who eat real food diets are 31% less likely to have heart disease, 33% less likely to develop diabetes, and at 20% less risk of strokes. That’s enough for us to take our chances with real food!
#6 High in Fiber
Real food is rich in soluble and insoluble fiber, which help you digest food.
You probably already know that fiber helps with constipation, indigestion, etc., but did you know that fiber is the calling card of good portion control?!
That’s right – fiber helps you feel full longer, which prevents late-night snacking. Plus it lowers cholesterol and glucose to boot! It is also linked to decreased risk of disease and increased longevity.
Processed foods are often low in fiber because the manufacturing process removes the fibrous parts of the food. Real food, however, is chock-full of fiber and is doubly healthy because the fiber is in the healthy food itself (rather than being added to processed food like cereal).
#7 Lower Cost
We’ll admit – processed food tends to be pretty darn cheap, and we know it can be tempting to your wallet. But consider the real and potential costs of processed food:
- Your health. Before you convince yourself to buy packaged over fresh food, remember that healthcare costs later on are likely to be way more expensive.
- Your time. Want to live longer? Real food is one of the best ways to not only live longer, but to be in better health – because no one wants to suffer in old age!
- Your wellbeing. You’ll feel better everyday, all day, and that leads to increased happiness and quality of life.
- Your family and people you influence. If you have kids, friends, or others whom your lifestyle can influence, one of the best investments you can make for them is actually on yourself! We’re influenced by the people closest to us, and being a good role model is priceless.
- Sustainability and the planet. The cost of processed food may not affect your wallet, but it will affect the air you breathe, landfills and more.
Contrary to popular belief, real food actually can be less expensive than processed food when you know what and where to buy. Ever visit a local farmer’s market or grow your own fruits and veggies?
#8 Environmentally Friendly
Processed food is bad for the environment, which affects the planet and everyone’s (including your own) health, even when you don’t eat the processed food.
Here are the main ways processed food is bad for the environment:
- Around one third of the earth’s greenhouse gas emissions are a result of processed food between the production, transportation, waste and commercial agriculture.
- Processed foods are often made with GMOs, which aren’t always bad, but can be when they’re connected with certain fertilizers. Plus, they can be bad for soil health and deplete micronutrients from it.
- The packaging of processed foods generates high amounts of pollution.
Eating real food helps your health both directly and indirectly – plus, you can help the environment and reduce waste.
#9 Good for Dental Health
Dental health on its own is important but impacts your overall health as well. Real foods help your pearly whites in these ways:
- The crunchy nature of crisp vegetables helps with saliva production and adds water, which washes away plaque.
- Calcium-rich food like cheese, yogurt, and salmon help with strong bones.
- Green tea is proven to protect tooth enamel.
Processed foods often contain sugar, artificial colors, and flavors that can stain your teeth, plus other chemicals that can be harmful to your dental health.
#10 It’s Tasty
This last one is possibly our favorite – real food just tastes better! Real foods are full of natural minerals and nutrients that give them amazing flavors. You don’t need added sugar or chemicals to make your food taste great.
Processed foods’ taste mostly comes from its additives, which almost always taste bland or unnatural.
If you don’t agree, just give real food a chance! Some things to try are looking up new real-food recipes that use whole, natural ingredients.
(Once you switch, we bet you won’t even miss that addictive processed food after a week or two!)
We know just how difficult it is to find prepared real foods at the grocery store. This is what the team at NoBull is so passionate about changing!
Try a NoBull Burger Today
NoBull burgers are our answer to the plant-based burger problem – it’s just hard to find veggie burgers that not only taste good but are also truly made with real food and completely free of preservatives and chemicals.
At NoBull, we love making healthy eating accessible and delicious for everyone – with 100% plants and 0% bull.
All of our burgers are 100% gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan for the whole family to enjoy – using all ingredients you would buy fresh at the store or grow yourself.
Curious? Taste one of our five flavors!