How to Select Natural Foods

My weight management philosophy is to enjoy natural, wholesome foods in moderation. Selecting these foods means avoiding added hormones in animalproducts, fake fillers in meats, chemicals that preserve flavors, and extremely high levels of sodium. Avoiding foods like this does more for you than just assist in weight loss.

By eliminating unnatural foods from your diet, you are likely to feel fuller on fewer calories. Second, eating reduced sodium foods can trim off up to five pounds of excess water weight. Third, your digestive system will thank you for avoiding added chemicals and hormones because all they do is cause an upset stomach, abdominal cramping, bloating, diarrhea, and lethargy. I am going to give you the good, bad, and very ugly about where fake foods lurk and how to look for the natural foods.

Fast food restaurants often use fillers for their meat products. For the company using them, fillers make a food look aesthetically pleasing and it saves them billions of dollars. For the person eating them, fillers provide a false or minimal feeling of satisfaction leaving them wanting more of what they already ate. This is one theory in the study of what is causing the obesity epidemic today because fillers have triple the calories but give no nutrients or feeling of fullness. If you have been relying on the drive-through, it is time to make the switch to your local grocery store. Look for labels that say certified organic, free-range and grass-fed eggs and meats, locally grown produce, non-GMO foods, and rBST-free milks. Due to the increasing demand for these healthier foods, these labels are easy to find on the package and they will be next to the title of the food or near the nutrition label.

A food is promoted as being low fat, reduced-fat, or natural. A natural food ingredient list will contain basic ingredients such as sugar, sea salt, spices, oil, cream, and stone ground or whole wheat. When reading the food ingredient label in question, if you cannot pronounce one of the ingredients its best to avoid it. Many diet foods must contain artificial ingredients that you won’t be able to pronounce because the fat has been stripped out and replaced with chemicals to reduce the overall calorie content. Therefore, before buying a food labeled low fat, reduced-fat, or natural, read the ingredients on the package. Aside from the ingredients you cannot pronounce, some other major ingredients to avoid are aspartame and all other artificial sweeteners, corn sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, food coloring, partially hydrogenated oils, trans fats, and any ingredient used to preserve flavoring.

A chain restaurant advertises they use fresh and natural ingredients. This may send customers knocking down the door to chew up their new, natural foods. However, these restaurants often have dangerously high levels of sodium in their foods. For adults, Choosemyplate.gov recommends a daily sodium intake of 2,000 to 2,300 milligrams. Chain restaurant foods have been known to contain up to 3,000 milligrams of sodium in one meal. Not only will your body retain excess water from the sodium, it is dangerous for those with health conditions, such as hypertension, to consume foods high in salt. Therefore, I highly recommend avoiding fast food and chain restaurants.

If you are consuming any unnatural foods, I strongly encourage you to cut them off cold turkey. Eating from home means you can still enjoy the foods you once had at the drive-through or your favorite restaurant but now you can prepare them with wholesome ingredients straight from your kitchen. For example, bake cookies from scratch, create a pizza with organic ingredients, and cook organic pasta adding real olive oil and spices. I guarantee after a few weeks of cutting out all fake foods, you will find yourself much more satisfied on fewer calories.