Monday, July 11, 2011

What Exactly is REAL FOOD?

I am reading a book that might very well change my life! That is a strong statement, but I feel strongly that eating 'real food' will have an incredibly positive impact on my life.

In Real Food: What to Eat and Why Nina Planck does an excellent job of explaining complex scientific nutritional information so that a layman (me) can understand it.

I am a long-time fan of Michael Pollan. He presents the problem of eating industrial food (as opposed to real food) in a very readable way, but doesn't solve the problem, so to speak, as well as Ms. Planck does. Reading this book has prompted me to TAKE ACTION to change the foods I eat.

(This is where my husband and some of my friends roll their eyes and say, 'There she goes again...') time will tell if this is truly a life-long change or a short-lived fad. Time will tell. I am betting my health on it! (Okay, that was a bit dramatic! Sorry!)

So, what exactly IS real food?  
Real food is traditional foods that humans have been eating for millenia:
  • Unprocessed traditional oils and fats: butter, coconut oil, olive oil, chicken fat and lard. NEVER hydrogenated!
  • Meat (chickens, cows, sheep, etc) raised the old-fashioned way - on farm pastures. Eating grass, bugs, etc - what they were meant by nature to eat.
  • Eggs from pastured chickens, ducks, or geese.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables. Ideally locally grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
  • Wild fish and seafood
  • Minimally processed whole grains
  • Full fat dairy foods, ideally raw from grass-fed cows
  • Wild game (rabbit, deer, etc.)
  • Traditional cultured and fermented foods: yogurt, sauerkraut, and sourdough bread
  • Unrefined sweeteners: honey, maple syrup, evaporated cane juice (in moderation!)

NOT real food:
  • Processed foods of any kind - cereals, industrial breads, etc.
  • Imitation anything - soy "meat" products, margarine (fake butter), non-dairy creamer or 'dessert topping', processed cheese, etc.
  • Light or low-fat products. Sugar is often added and these are without exception highly processed foods.
  • Powdered eggs
  • Bleached white flour and sugar
This list is probably not complete - I am a only a student of this and still learning. I encourage you to read the book for yourself. You will never look at food the same way again!

Health, Mind & Body Books at

Michael Pollan

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