Is eating natural foods healthy?

Real foods are packed with antioxidants and nutrients that support heart health, such as magnesium and healthy fats. Whole foods are also sometimes labeled as “natural foods”. No whole food has been processed. In nature, fruits and vegetables are perfect whole foods because they contain just one ingredient.

Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains contain nutrients and fiber that the body needs and can use. If you want to know what nutrients you need to stay healthy and perform optimally, an InsideTracker plan uses a blood test to recommend the foods that are best for your body. Chemicals such as synthetic fungicides, herbicides and insecticides are widely used in conventional agriculture, and residues remain in (and in) the food we eat. Organic foods tend to be fresher because they don't contain preservatives that make them last longer.

Organic products are sometimes (but not always, so be careful where they come from) produced on smaller farms closer to where they are sold. Organic agriculture tends to be better for the environment. Organic agriculture practices can reduce pollution, conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility and use less energy. Farming without synthetic pesticides is also better for nearby birds and animals, as well as for people who live near farms.

While people may believe that foods labeled “natural” do not contain preservatives or additives, in fact, manufacturers can add substances that are naturally derived from foods to preserve or improve flavor. Unlike the trans and processed fats found in vegetable oils and some spreads, it's best to consume most natural fats. Organic foods tend to have more beneficial nutrients, such as antioxidants, than their conventionally grown counterparts, and people with allergies to foods, chemicals, or preservatives may notice that their symptoms decrease or disappear when they only eat organic foods. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and biotechnology companies that design GMOs insist that they are safe.

Many food safety advocates point out that long-term studies have never been conducted to confirm the safety of the use of GMOs, while some animal studies have indicated that the consumption of GMOs can cause damage to internal organs, slow brain growth and thicken the digestive tract. Eating fiber through whole foods is better than taking a supplement, as it makes you feel satisfied for longer and you also get the added nutrients from fruit or vegetables. Processed foods are a term that refers to any food that has been modified during preparation to make it tastier, self-stable or practical. However, if you set some priorities, it's possible to buy organic food and stay within your food budget.

Eating foods with added sugar or ingredients such as high-fructose corn syrup is linked to a number of health problems. However, in terms of nutrition labeling, “artificial” means anything that is added to a processed food that is not taken directly from a whole food. For example, food scientists developed an artificial raspberry flavor to mimic the taste of real raspberries. However, since processed foods became popular in the 20th century, the Western diet has leaned more toward ready-to-eat meals.

They're found in all real foods, especially vegetables such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and legumes. Making junk food look healthy is a common marketing tactic in the food industry, but organic baked goods, desserts, and snacks are often high in sugar, salt, fat, or calories. The term “artificial” generally refers to ingredients or foods created to mimic nature, such as certain colorants or flavors. Sometimes, manufacturers re-add vitamins that were lost during processing, so a processed fortified food is often healthier than one processed without fortification.

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