What is Natural Foods, do they exist?
Natural foods and all natural foods are widely used terms in food labeling and marketing with a variety of definitions, most of which are vague. These are just advertising ploys and nothing more. Or, as said in the advertising world, new ways to sell the old product.
The term is often assumed to imply foods that are not processed and whose ingredients are all natural products (in the chemist’s sense of that term), thus conveying an appeal to nature. This is exactly what you and me as customers think they are. That they are natural, as, in the sense of the term from the nature natural, this is why every Everyday ad has a beautiful woman who is not so skinny, not so fat making breakfast with a little window that looks out to the amazing world with hills and greenery outside her.
But the lack of standards in most jurisdictions means that the term assures nothing. Even the very advanced countries don’t have what it takes to restrict the usage of the term to sell only actually natural foods and ingredients.
Read the back of a lot of products and you find ingredients like natural food coloring, natural flavorings, natural anti-caking agents, well, these are all natural but artificially added. That is the irony of naturally processed foods, they are not healthy, unlike the brands would have you believe.
Even where the legislature exists, it is very hard to enforce and regulate, such as in places like the U.S. and UK. Imagine the plunder in Pakistan. Let us show you more:
What is Organic Foods, do they exist?
Organic food is food produced by methods that comply with the standards of organic farming. Standards vary worldwide, but organic farming features practices that cycle resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. However, this is just what it is in theory, in reality, any chicken that is produced in farms that are only relatively better than other non-organic farms, with feed and cages that are only somewhat improved is organic. Or can be called organic, and the companies, yes you guessed it right, they call it organic shamelessly.
In our heads organic means that the product and the produce are mostly free from synthetic, artificial sweeteners, additives, preservatives, fertilizers, this is just partly true. There is no law that defines what is and what is not organic, especially in Pakistan, it is all up to the producer to decide what their marketing slant is.
Are Natural and Organic Foods Good?
Natural ingredients like corn syrup, salt and sugar can do more harm than many chemicals and additives such as plastic and fertilizers.
Your granola bar like the one from Nature Valley or Alpen contain: weight watching cereals like Kellogg’s Special K contain up to 12 grams of sugar in a 100-gram serving – that’s like 12% of the food’s quantity just plain sugar and sweeteners, one Big Mac without meal contains about 9-10 grams of sugar, one KFC’s fried chicken breast has a staggering amount of 1.1grams of salt in it, this is 48% of your daily requirement – now you don’t eat one piece ever, do you, 1 bottle of Coke regular has about 44 grams of sugar, this means that it is a little close to 4 times your daily sugar requirement, considering you only have Coke that one day, it is still more.
What is healthy then?
Now imagine what happens when you ask for an upsize with your meal, grab a few extra energy drinks on your way home and then think that 1 hour in the gym or at cardio will solve all your problems. This is not just the tip of the problem.
With so much fuel you run your body on high energy levels fast and non stop, until you crash, Ever seen a kid on a sugar rush jumping all over the room one minute and then cranky and screamy and noisy all of a sudden in the next, thank you sugar, this is what you do to us. This more than just mood swings, its biology, your biology that is being messed up by natural additives in foods you are taking.
Similarly, one bowl of chicken Manchurian with rice you take for lunch every day contains about 44 grams of sugar in a single serving, that is a lot of it, considering your body will not know where to put it, your brain will get weird signals and you will go through an energy crash, its really unfair to you to keep looking for bandaid fixes like finding organic and natural foods to cure your body.
Fitness is a lifestyle. And like any lifestyle it demands the user to atleast first familiarise with the tricks of the trade, to launch safely. And to get results, if at all. Regulating your diet to make it more balanced not just in terms of food groups like fat, vegetables and proteins etc, is important but to regulate what kind of fast you are taking, what kinds of carbohydrates enter your system and how much salt and sugar and of what kind are you throwing in is necessary for a healthier and stronger body. In fact, taking charge of the ingredients and the quantities supersedes anything else here. That is the only way to go, not through labels and falling into the traps of the trillion-dollar global fitness industry.