Questions have been pouring in to our office regarding the subject of Natural Foods on a daily basis. So, what we thought to do is to summarize your responses in the following statements:
- Natural foods are foods that are minimally processed. Natural foods do not include ingredients such as refined sugars, refined flours, milled grains, hydrogenated oils, sweeteners, food colors, or flavorings.
- Sucanat, Stevia, raw honey, Agave syrup and maple syrup are sweeteners often used in place of white sugar in a natural foods diet. Sea salt is also preferred over table salt.
- Proponents of natural foods diets argue that refined ingredients promote obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
- Natural foods were made popular in America and Western Europe during the 1970s. Its principles include avoiding artificial ingredients and 'processed' foods such as refined sugar and white flour.
- Food produced or sold according to the ideals of the natural food movement is sometimes known colloquially as 'health food,' although many people also use that term in a broader sense to mean any type of healthy eating.
- Although in modern times the natural food diet has largely been only practiced by a minority, it has frequently influenced the way the wider population eats.
- Many groceries, restaurants and cookbooks utilize and promote natural foods. Natural foods are sold at natural stores, food cooperatives, and larger chains of natural foods markets.
- Whole foods are those that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible before being consumed. They typically do not contain added ingredients, such as sugar, salt, or fat.
- Often confused with "organic food" (i.e., organically-grown food), whole foods are not necessarily organic, nor are organic foods necessarily whole, although they do share a number of traits, such as an avoidance of chemically-assisted agricultural techniques. Because of the lack of basic processing, many whole foods have a very short shelf life and are not easily sold outside of farmers' markets.
- Examples of whole foods include unpolished grains; fruits and vegetables; unprocessed meat, poultry, and fish; and non-homogenized milk. For some, it is preferable to eat whole foods raw to obtain the maximum nutritional benefit, although this raises concerns of food poisoning.
- Whole foods are easily assimilated and absorbed readily by the body. Whole foods are nutrient rich and are thought to promote health because they are a natural source of vitamins and minerals.
- The term “Whole Food” has been known to describe any food that offers a complete balance in nutritional value while in its natural state. Whole foods typically include any raw fruits and vegetables, as well as nutrient-dense nuts, seeds and sprouts. Some contend that it is preferable to eat whole foods raw in order to obtain their maximum nutritional benefit
- Yet another popular means of obtaining whole food nutrition is through taking nutritional supplements. Advocates of whole foods urge caution, however, claiming that most nutritional supplements on the market have been overprocessed, thus eliminating their whole food benefits.
- A dietary supplement, also known as food supplement or nutritional supplement, is a preparation intended to supply nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fatty acids or amino acids, that are missing or are not consumed in sufficient quantity in a person's diet. Some countries define dietary supplements as foods, while in others they are defined as drugs.
- Supplements containing vitamins or dietary minerals are recognised by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the United Nations' highest authority on food standards, as a category of food.
- Pursuant to the DSHEA, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates dietary supplements as foods, and not as drugs.