At least since a decade now, there has been a visible surge in the number of people wanting to be fit, be more active, defy ageing & look n feel good at any age!.. & it goes without saying that exercising, proper rest & sleep as well as eating right is a must. Of all these factors, EATING RIGHT is what people are most confused about!
What does one do when every single day the media, the internet & even the people around you ( who keep changing their own views too) CONFUSE the hell out of you, about what food is good for you & what food does more harm than good to you ???
For every ‘Scientific’ research that proves that a food is good for you, there is another equally strong & equally ‘scientific’ research that proves how that food harms you!!
Here are some actual internet articles & News headlines with conflicting data :
1) Saturated Fat Linked to Heart Disease
2) Stroke risk lowered with a high protein diet
3) A diet of Animal Protein could be as harmful as smoking
4) High protein diets can hurt the kidneys
5) Research Review : High Protein diets, safe for kidneys
6) Low carb diet may lower Heart disease risk
7) Low carb diet can make you Unhealthy & shorten your life.
I gathered them to show you just how crazy we have become about analyzing the food that goes in our mouth. It’s no wonder we are all so confused about what we are supposed to eat. One day we wake up and meat is bad for us. The next day, meat is good for us and is the reason we are alive today. Another day, eating low carb is great for weight loss and great for blood vessel function. Wait, low carb is not good for cardiovascular function though. But isn’t weight loss easier on a low carb diet? And isn’t weight loss good for cardiovascular function?
Anyways, I think what I am trying to say is that knowing what to eat is extremely complicated for a lay man.. even for a well read lay man! Seriously, how can we be expected to eat healthy, when we can’t even agree on what healthy is?
Whenever you start to feel overwhelmed or confused about what to eat, remember one word…SERF.
What is SERF?
Simply. Eat. Real. Food.
That’s it.No boisterous claims or elaborate studies to confuse you. Simply eat real food.
But what exactly is real food?
Here’s how I define it.
Real food has a short shelf life :
Want to know how ‘old’ or ‘stale’ is the fast food burger you ordered ??? At least 1 month old. & who knows.. even 2 years old!!
This is clearly not real food. Real food has a short shelf life and should go bad within a few days of being picked or purchased. You will know you’re buying lots of real food when your refrigerator & fruit basket fills up and empties itself every few days.
If you have stocked a lot of non-food ‘things’ like farsan, biscuits, coke, pepsi ,chips, ready to eat foods, jams etc. then you know why your waistline bulges despite those senseless 500 crunches you do religiously!
Real food doesn’t need a fancy package, or any package at all.
It’s funny to me when I see protein bars using their package to promote their “lower sugar”, “12 grams of protein”, and “richness in branch chain amino acids”. I would much rather have sprouts or a few eggs that have more protein, more BCAA’s & NO sugar. But sprouts & egg whites are a lot more humble so it doesn’t need the fancy label to tell you how cool it is. All this good stuff also comes with the “milk chocolate flavoured coating” and “sugar free” sweeteners that are linked to memory loss, stroke, increased appetite & a whole lot of disorders. Don’t get caught up in fancy marketing techniques or outlandish claims. Most real food doesn’t have any packaging at all.
Real food has a recent connection to the earth.
When it comes to getting the most nutrition out of our food, time is not on our side. The shorter time a food can spend away from its natural environment on earth, the more we can consider it real food. Even super-foods like spinach lose most of their nutrition content within just 8 days of being harvested. Imagine what kind of nutrition you are getting from the box of cereal that’s been sitting in your cabinet for months. Real foods preferably come from a local source so they can be consumed within days of being harvested.
Real food doesn’t need to tell you how healthy it is.
The other day I saw commercial that shows the ingredients list on the packaging to prove to consumers that whole grains are the first ingredient in their product. They even conveniently circle the whole grains to make it stand out & catch your gullible sight! What most consumers miss though is the other ingredients like excess salt,sugar & chemicals that they can barely pronounce! Be suspicious of any claims that companies use to promote their own products. Real food should speak for itself.
Real food ate real food.
It makes sense that unhealthy plants and animals could lead to unhealthy humans that are consuming those plants and animals. Chicken that is supposed to roam freely & in the sunlight but are all together crammed up in a small metal cage that hurts their claws & injures their body beyond description. They are treated like objects that don’t have a central nervous system & feel no pain!! Animal cruelty is going out of hand, thanks to the fast food chains ! Factory food production practices are getting out of control. While vegetarianism has a lot of benefits, if you choose to include non- veg in your diet, keep it to a minimum & do your best to consume meat of animals that were raised organically and humanely and you will greatly increase your consumption of real food.
Real food does not need to be altered.
Low fat, reduced fat. Reduced sugar. Fortified foods like breads and cereals. Skim milk. Gluten-free foods. There are an endless amount of foods that are altered in order to make them more appealing to consumers. Remember that there is a LOT more that many people are willing to pay when you market a food like this!!
Real food doesn’t need to have components added or removed to make them healthy. Real food is either healthy in its whole form, or it’s not. It’s that simple.
Real food does not need to be fortified.
Breads, cereals, and grain-based products are the biggest culprits here. Almost every single one of them is depleted of their vitamins and minerals during processing. The only reason you see those things in the final product in your grocery store is because food companies have learned how to artificially add them back in after processing. I’m sorry, but if I have to eat bread to get my daily multivitamin then I would rather just take the multivitamin and skip the bread. Real food should retain its vitamins and minerals from the earth all the way to your mouth.
Real food is not a supplement.Or WORSE a “meal” replacement!
Seems like a no-brainer, right? Except for when you live in a society where everyone is looking for a quick fix or the next miracle drug. Don’t be fooled by Nutrition companies that don’t sell a single product that could be considered real food. That’s not to say that some supplements can’t be beneficial, but they are no replacement for real food. Make sure whatever supplements you choose to take are in addition to the real food diet you are already eating. Stay miles away from ‘meal replacement’ shakes & MLM companies marketing these! They have huge interests in marketing these products to you! ( I get at least 5-6 calls per month from these buggers, asking me to promote their product)
While we can’t expect to go out & gather all of our food straight from the earth and eat it immediately, we certainly can make better decisions when it comes to eating more real food. Next time you think about reaching for that ‘atta’ noodles, that box of ‘fortified’ cereal, or loaf of bread because you’ve been told it’s healthy for you, just realize that it fails most, if not all, of the real food rules you see above.
If you wish to eat for junk food for taste, make sure to restrict the number of junk food meals to 1-2 meals per week! & if possible, make burgers, whole grain pasta, pizza, biryani, fried rice or whatever else you like… at home using real food & fresh ingredients!! Have fresh OJ instead of guzzling a bottle of Fanta! Have a fresh fruit smoothie instead of a Thick shake! Have home made ghee or white butter instead of the commercially available butter! Get the idea??? As long as you eat anything in moderation, it cant harm you!!
Simply Eat Real Food.